Award: Supporting New York’s Heroes
Sandra Holder was born on November 14, 1956 on the Island of Grenada, in the Caribbean. She relocated to the United States in 1981 in search of the American dream. Ms. Holder accepted a position at Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric center as a nurse assistant in 1983 and has worked there ever since. Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center was renamed to Shorefront Jewish Geriatric Center. Her most recent position at Shorefront Jewish Geriatric Center was that of a unit clerk.
Ms. Holder has cared for the elderly for many years. Her work gave her tremendous satisfaction. However, her greatest joy came from being able to provide for her family especially her only child, Nigel.
Ms. Holder has also been very active in the Grenadian community supporting many expatriate organizations and causes. Her husband, Richard “OP” Holder, was, before his death from cancer, an active trade unionist and promoter of Grenadian culture, especially calypso. The annual Grenada Independence Calypso Monarch competition in New York is put on by an organization that bears his name.
In April, 2010, Mr. Holder was diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma which is a rare form of cancer. T-Cell Lymphoma has very few treatment options. Treatment options include radiation treatment and chemotherapy. However, in many cases these treatments may only work for a short period of time. Bone marrow transplants is another option to combat T-Cell Lymphoma.
There are numerous risk involved in undergoing a bone marrow transplant. If successful, the bone marrow transplant can offer patients the longest line of defense to treating the disease. Bone marrow transplants is a process of using your own bone marrow (Autologous Bone Marrow Transplants) or bone marrow from a donor (Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant) to replace stem cells in the body that may be contributing in the mutation of blood cells that is causing the cancer.
Ms. Holder will be undergoing an allogeneic bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital to help cure her sickness. To her friends and family and the wider Grenadian community Ms. Holder has always been a fighter and in her battle with cancer she’s not giving an inch.
For all her work and her uncompromising battle against a deadly disease Senator John L. Sampson salutes Ms. Sandra Holder as his “CONSTITUENT OF THE MONTH.”