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Concert for cancer
Nineteen-year-old Cherise Couri told the T&T Guardian last Friday that she was “just your average teenager.” However, as a cancer survivor and founder of the non-profit organisation LIV (Life is Valuable) Movement, Couri is certainly more than average.
Her inspirational story, which Couri has shared with the public through social media Web sites such as You Tube and Facebook, has drawn the attention of businessman Tony Chow Lin On and soca artiste Machel Montano. The two men have pulled together with a long list of other artistes—including Jamaican reggae group Morgan Heritage—to perform on Couri’s behalf this Sunday at the 02 Amphitheatre, Chaguaramas.
The concert was launched last Friday with a press conference at nightclub 51 Degrees. What is now LIV The Concert was originally a party organised by Couri and a group of friends. The party was being held to raise funds for Couri to have a tumour-removing surgery. Couri was diagnosed with Wilms tumour at only 18-months-old. Wilms tumour is a rare cancer that usually affects children. While still a toddler, Couri went through chemotherapy, radiation and her cancer went into remission and she was left with only one kidney. According to Couri, she was able to live a somewhat normal life. Late last year, however, it was discovered that Couri has three benign tumours on her liver. Surgery to remove the tumours is expected to cost $250,000.
The Diego Martin-native saw her latest battle with the cancer as the perfect time to reach out to others fighting the disease. This is how the LIV Movement was born. LIV Movement’s mission is not cancer awareness, according to Couri, but cancer survival. The organisation will help people through charity and other initiatives. It might be hard to believe that even with all the excruciating pain cancer causes, Couri is able to make a commitment to others but this seems to be her personality. Couri is currently a radiography student at COSTAATT.
“I chose to do radiography because I love to help people. Although a lot of people may think I’d have chosen medicine. I don’t like to lose people so I rather not be so responsible for a life. But I still wanted to help people so I chose radiography,” she said.
Couri also has a lot of support for her good work from family members, particularly her mother Jo-Ann. “She was a big part in all of this. She herself is a cancer survivor,” said Couri. Jo-Ann survived breast cancer. Inspiration also comes from inner passion and drive. “I once danced for Wayne Berkeley. He was such an inspiring and uplifting guy. I danced for him and I won a book of all his designs. He said, ‘You show passion in what you do and your expression is shown.’ I took that to heart and always fed from it,” she said.
For more information about Couri and the #LIV movement you can find the organisation’s Facebook page: LIV Movement. Or follow the group on Twitter: @LIVMOVEMENT.
E-mail: [email protected]
LIV The Concert takes place on Sunday 17 March at O2 Amphitheatre, Chaguaramas from 3-10pm.
Tickets cost $200 and are available at Sports & Games outlets and Converse in West Mall.
Many celebrities have mentioned Couri on their Twitter pages. Take a look at what they said below.
Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer: “iSupport the iLIV Movement! Let us LIV as one and support @CourzZ Mar 8th”
Dancehall artiste Konshens: “@CourzZ #LIV count we blessing an live it up…”
Dancehall artiste Sizzla: “Do some good today and put away your destructive attitude. Trinidad, Jah said let the sick be nourished, help @CourzZ #LIV #CancerAwareness
Soca star Machel Montano: “Nice! Now that I have your attention, there’s a movement called #LIV. I want everyone to tweet and support. We will #LIV. Blessed morning.”
Designers Ayanna & Asha Diaz: “#LIV for LOVE...Support the movement.”
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