Monday, March 16, 2015

Sigma Run wheelchair entrant completes 5K thanks to a perfect stranger

Denise Grant pushes Latoya Senior (wheelchair)
during the 2015 Sagicor Sigma Corporate
 Run in Kingston on Sunday, February 22.
33 year old Latoya Senior, a Tetraplegic since age 14, forged a beautiful partnership with 20 year old Denise Grant at the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run that saw the wheel chair entrant record her first ever 5k finish with a time of 59:56. Denise met Latoya, who is confined to a wheelchair, for the first time on the morning of the event and was asked to escort her on the course to which she agreed without hesitation.

The partnership underlines the very mandate of the 17th staging of the Run which aims to raise funds for charities that support child health as well as cultivating meaningful relationships for positive causes.

Alysia White, Manager Promotions and Public relations, Group Marketing at Sagicor says “This is commendable and we welcome persons with special needs to participate, even if they have never competed in any Paralympic sports.”

Senior, who is a resident at Cheshire Village an extension of Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre (formerly Mona Rehab) for years wanted to participate in the annual Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run. However, in an incident at age 14 she was shot in the side of the neck which resulted in her becoming a Tetraplegic, paralysed from the neck down.

Senior had big dreams to become wealthy but this was quickly side tracked. She was enrolled in physical and occupational therapy. “I was moved to Mona Rehab after eight days in Port Antonio Hospital. It was tough, but after a few years, I realised that there were persons in worse positions than me. I thank God I’m alive,” says Latoya.

Latoya was moved from the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre to her current home in Kingston in 2010, as a result of a shortage of beds. She credits the institution for its hands on approach which led to regaining the use of her arms. “I am grateful for the care I received and to my friends at Mona Rehab, they mean a lot to me,” she states.

Arrangements were put in place for Latoya to attend the 17th staging of the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run on Sunday, February 22. She recalls being excited as her stomach was filled with butterflies when asked to participate.

Grant, also participated for the first time and was resolute to push Senior with every ounce of perseverance to the finish line. Latoya received an Inaugural Wheelchair Participant award from her Corporate Team, where she has been employed since 2014 as a media monitor. 

Ceshire Village is an integrated community of 21 housing units. It houses both able-bodied and disabled ex-patients, with the idea that the able-bodied would assist the disabled when conducting regular household chores and wherever else necessary. 

Sagicor Group Jamaica is a financial services conglomerate with business in Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Costa Rica. The Group offers products and services in the areas of Banking, Insurance, Investments, Real Estate, Asset Management and Retirement Planning. Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited is the leading Life and Health insurance provider in Jamaica. The Company commenced operations in 1970 as Life of Jamaica Limited, the first locally owned life insurance company and the first life insurance company to be listed on the JSE.  Sagicor Group Jamaica is a member of the wider Sagicor Financial Corporation.  Sagicor Financial Corporation operates in over 20 countries and its operations date back to 1840.

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