When the awards are given out for bravery, and courage under grace, the name of Marcia Priyadarshani Gordon will be on top of the list. Each day, this young lady battles with a deadly illness.
It is through prayers, hope, the kindness of others, and a steely determination to triumph over the odds, that see her greet another sunrise. What is remarkable is that Marcia goes about her day with words that bring hope and encouragement to others. Her bubbly personality and winning smile let the world know that she is a fighter and that cancer will not stop her from living a life of fulfillment.
Marcia was born in Georgetown, Guyana. She grew up in South Riumveldt Gardens and she spent some time in Ogle as well. Her mom is Alexandria and her dad is Philip Gordon.
Marcia attended Sacred Heart Primary School, then Bishops High School, and in 2005 she went to Queens College. She liked the sciences and math. She said that she had the best of both worlds as, ‘my dad is a lover of Math and my mom is a lover of English.’
Marcia did well in her exams and won a place at the University of Guyana (UG) to study Biology. She enjoyed her classes and came under the influence of lecturers Gyanpriya Maharaj and Calvin Bernard who motivated her to reach for the stars. After her graduation from UG in 2011, Marcia got a job at the Guyana Forestry Commission. She began as a Project Officer that handled concessions for people to harvest the forests. This was based on a sustainable level to prevent gaps in the forests. Marcia got to know the jungle fairly well as she had to spend time there as part of her job. She was impressed with the beauty of Guyana.
In 2015, Marcia was sent to China on a training course in Agro-Forestry. It was held in Beijing and the course was intensive, starting from nine in the morning and ending at six in the evening. But there was also time for travel and Marcia visited the Great Wall of China, among other places.
Marcia returned to Guyana and resumed her duties at Forestry. In due course, she began to experience a shortness of breath and a funny feeling. She had visited the Cancer Institute prior to the China trip for a routine breast examination. They found two small lumps but the doctors told Marcia that there was nothing to worry about and that the masses were benign.
She then went for a biopsy in Georgetown before proceeding on a vacation to New York. A few days after she arrived in New York Marcia received the results of the biopsy. She was suffering from grade two-cancer. She had it checked in New York as well and the news was even more devastating. Marcia was diagnosed with stage-four cancer. This meant that it had spread to various parts of her body.
In the midst of a heavy burden the Lord sends good people to help, comfort, and to ease the pain. There were two organizations, Health and Education Relief Organization for Cancer (HEROC) and Health and Education Relief Organization (HERO) that came to Marcia’s aid. The first is headed by Lorna Welshman-Neblett while the second includes Drs. John Mitchell, Collie Oudkerk and Harrison Mitchell. Marcia cannot thank them enough for their kindness.
As for as her treatment is concerned, she says that she has completed the whole works that include ‘the chemo, scans, radiation, surgery, countless needles and I thought that my treatment would be over. But I was faced with a second battle. The cancer has now spread to my head, lungs and the liver.’
Lorna Welshman-Neblett has become a second mother to Marcia. She offered her home for Marcia and her mother to stay as the treatment continues. Marcia calls her ‘Aunty Lorna’ and the love they have for each other is evident.
Lorna says that Marcia is one of the bravest persons she has seen. ‘Marcia wakes up every morning with a smile. She is a light and I believe that God has put us together.’
Marcia and Lorna also thank Pat Jordan Langford for her activism and her encouragement. There is no doubt that Marcia is a fighter. She says that her strength comes from God. She quotes a verse from a song: ‘When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm. Father, you are King over the flood. I will be still, and know that you are God.’ This is her motivation.
Marcia loves to fix jigsaw puzzles. It takes skill and determination to fit the pieces but she doesn’t give up. Her life is that jigsaw and she prays that with God’s help the pieces will fit perfectly together.
We wish her all the best in the future.