KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 14, IWN – A local sports journalist is happy that his writing has led to action to help the nation’s de facto sports mascot, Martian “Marty” King, who has colon cancer.
Rohan Thomas used his “On Target” column in Searchlight newspaper to highlight King’s medical condition and said the sporting fraternity and sports lovers had failed the sick man.
“It is a great feeling to know that a piece of your work was able to trigger off some national humane response,” Thomas told I-Witness News via email on Monday.
“It shows that journalists here can use whatever medium they choose to highlight the plight of others, thus causing others to look the victim’s way and effect change.
“For me, I am personally gratified as it came out of a genuine love for humanity,” Thomas further said.
He said he saw King during last year’s Nine Mornings celebration in Kingstown,“wading through the crowd with his box, lacking that usual effervescence”. King was asking for donations to his medical bills and Thomas said this “pricked my conscience immediately, hence the response [plea] in the column”.
“It is my hope that future endeavours such as [the one on behalf of] Marty’s be used as a means to prop up values of neighbourly love and brotherhood,” he told I-Witness News.
On Sunday, the Football Federation, the National Lotteries Authority and Friends of Marty held two football matches at Victoria Park to help raise money for King’s medical attention.
He told I-Witness News that in addition to the impact on his body, the cancer is affecting his family especially his children, one of which, he said, no longer wants to go to school.
Persons willing to donate to King or his family can do so through account number 87050 at St. Vincent Co-operative Bank or by contacting him at +1784-454-8153.