Mrs. Orr died on November 1 1999, the day after her birthday from the complications of surgery to remove a tumor from her brain.
She also was suffering from diabetes, and was on dialysis as her kidneys were failing.
She was a beautiful lady, she was my mother.
There are millions of African Americans that suffer from diabetes and kidney disease, and there are countless numbers of them who are totally unaware of the things that they can do to save themselves from the perils of it.
I attended a very special event out on the pier in Santa Monica the other night put on by the one and only Sugar Ray Leonard’s 4th annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” event that was his continued effort to bring awareness to the disease.
This was a great affair folks, as the stars of screen and sound all came out to support this worthy cause. Pop/R&B singer Usher, world champion boxer Andre Berto, attorney Robert Shapiro, NFL linebacker Shawn Merriman, singer Johnny Gill, comedian Tommy Davidson, and boxing promoter Lou Dibella were just a few of the stars (there were more whom I probably failed to mention) who all came to support Sugar Ray in his effort to raise funds, and awareness to this no doubt, worthy cause.
Ray was quoted as saying that some of his own family members suffered from the disease, and that he will continue his fight out of the ring, to bring more attention to this problem that faces many people worldwide, particularly African Americans.
There was a silent auction held at the event in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised toward more research that will hopefully lead to a solution to this worldwide problem.
There was also a special attraction at the event that featured three non title bouts that were sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.
With continued medical research hopefully there can be a cure for this deadly disease. There are some things that we can do as individuals such as change our diet, watch the things that we eat, and get more exercise as well, that can slow it’s progression and manage it.
Unfortunately, there are kids who are as young as 8 that are affected by it, so this is definitely something that we all need to join together and fight.
We commend Sugar Ray Leonard for the effort that he’s putting forward in bringing attention to this disease. Virginia Orr would be pleased.
Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update column can also be seen in the Pace News, the Inland Valley News, and the High Desert Inland Valley News. Mohammed is a portrait artist as well. He can be contacted at [email protected] for your comments.