The entertainment fraternity is rallying around a Brudda who is facing critical health challenges and needs approximately $200,000 to pay for surgery and aftercare.
Veteran entertainer Antoine Brudda Daddy Williams was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer – which has spread to his liver – and is due to undergo surgery on Monday, May 1.
However, although he has health insurance, the cost is prohibitive and the insurance company will not cover the full cost.
Therefore, several artistes and performers, including Sade Leon Slinger-Folkes, calypso tent manager Eleanor Rice, radio personality Anthony Admiral Nelson and calypsonian Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire, have launched an initiative with the support of the City of Bridgetown (COB) Credit Union to raise funds to help their colleague.
Slinger-Folkes Wednesday told a news conference at the COB the WIFI – What If It Were You – initiative, meant to assist all entertainers in need, was due to be launched at a later date.
However, given the urgency of Williams’ situation, the group was moved to act immediately.
“Antoine is currently facing a lot. He has been a member of the cancer support services for over ten years and you can always hear him on air encouraging people to come get tested . . . not knowing he would be in the position he is in today.
“It was extremely regretful and disappointing when he went to Miami to have further tests that the invitation was extended that they could do the surgery, and they couldn’t do it because he didn’t have the finances, so he had to return home. He has insurance but it’s inadequate. WIFI has been established to assist him in securing the necessary finances. We are unsure of how long he will be out of work since his recovery time is expected to be for a little while,” she explained.
The first fundraiser will come off this Saturday, April 29 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, where the Laff It Off cast and crew will put on a special show for him. There will also be special performances by Red Plastic Bag, Mighty Gabby and Terry Mexican Arthur, and all proceeds will go towards Williams’ health care.
Upon hearing of Williams’ plight, COB, of which he is a member, immediately came on board and has set up an account, according to Marketing Manager Winston Alleyne, who said the credit union had already made a significant donation. Barbadians at home and abroad can donate to the account number 928078.
Speaking at the press conference, Alleyne was overcome with emotion as he appealed to Barbadians to assist Williams in his time of need.
“We at COB, we are a family. When one member hurts, everyone hurts. I’m appealing to all Barbados to rally behind Antoine at this time, as we in the COB family would be there for him. We are asking all of you to do the same. This is what we as a family would do. So we are asking you to support him in all ventures so he can realize the money to pay for the surgery,” Alleyne said as tears ran down his cheeks.
Red Plastic Bag also joined in calling on all Barbadians to lend their support.
“I want to ask the people of Barbados to support Antoine. There is only one word to describe Antoine. He is a good man and I am asking for your support. As a man who grew up in the church, I’m saying to you the greatest thing we can send up is our prayers, so the blessings can come down from heaven,” he said.
Williams stopped by briefly to thank everyone for their support, before heading off to a doctor’s appointment.
Even then, he did not miss the opportunity to remind Barbadians of the importance of being tested, and of early detection.
“ . . . Barbadians need to be aware of the impact that colon cancer is placing on our lives and the necessity to have early detection. After my surgery and I’m better in that regard . . . we will be launching a campaign that will aggressively speak about this and about early detection. A lot of us in our age ranges are not mindful of it and when it does happen it’s always too late,” he stressed.