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Supporters of Russ Ford raise $3,500 in latest drives

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Health activist Russ Ford is undergoing specialist therapy in Arizona (Photograph Supplied)

More than $3,500 was raised to help the health activist Russ Ford in his recovery from serious injuries.

Supporters gathered money at a day-long drive at the Devonshire branch of Lindo’s and at the Speciality Inn restaurant.

Esso is allowing bucket collections at its gas stations for Mr Ford, who is recovering at a specialist hospital unit in Arizona after being paralysed from the chest down in an “horrific” fall at his Bermuda home in February.

JoAnne Dean-Armstrong, a friend and fellow former Nurse of the Year, organised the fundraising effort for Mr Ford.

Ms Dean-Armstrong told The Royal Gazette: “The generosity of people has just been fantastic.

“It’s still May, so it’s still Nurses Month, and we have to keep going.

“The nurses took two hours apiece to do the collections, and people just kept coming over and making donations.”

While Mr Ford has medical insurance, his family and friends have set a target of raising $200,000 to help with long-term care, such as the need for a specialist, motorised wheelchair.

Mr Ford’s fiancée, Lynnee Tanner, said that despite his injuries, the campaigner wants to continue to speak out and try to “inspire” others.

More than $71,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page, while another $27,500 has been donated through other events and activities supporting Mr Ford.

Russ Ford’s grandchildren with the bucket fund at the Port Royal Gas Station (Photograph supplied)

Mark Anderson, also known as the drag artist Sybil, Queen of Bermuda, highlighted the campaign with a walk from St George’s to Dockyard in April, which boosted the fundraising effort.

While campaigning for greater help and support for people dealing with HIV/Aids, Mr Ford, who was a probation officer, founded Bermuda’s first hospice, Agape House.

The facility still operates as a respite for anyone in need.

Mr Ford has told The Royal Gazette that he intends to go ahead with his wedding plans when he returns to the island.

He said he was very thankful for the support he is getting in Bermuda.

• Donations can be made via HSBC account number 010 246971 011

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Published May 30, 2023 at 7:50 am (Updated May 30, 2023 at 7:40 am)

Supporters of Russ Ford raise $3,500 in latest drives

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