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Mark Anderson walks the walk to help Russ Ford recover

Mark Anderson, centre, on South Road during his charity walk to raise funds for Russ Ford. He was accompanied by E. Michael Jones, the former mayor of St George’s, and Bob Smith. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Activist Mark Anderson thanked supporters for wishing him well during his 7½-hour trek from St George to Dockyard to raise funds for Russ Ford, a former nurse of the year, who helped to increase HIV/Aids awareness in Bermuda in the 1980s.

Mr Anderson, who also performs in drag as Sybil Barrington, the Queen of Bermuda, said that more than $1,000 had been donated along the island-wide route today.

Mr Ford suffered serious injuries during a fall at his home in February, which his family described as “horrific”.

While Mr Ford did have health insurance, his family and friends are trying to raise $200,000 via a GoFundMe page to help to take care of continuing needs and the purchase of necessary equipment such as a specialist wheelchair.

At the end of the fundraising walk, which had begun in St George at 6am, Mr Anderson told The Royal Gazette: “I feel great. I don’t feel sore, just a little tightness in my legs. I prepared myself for this walk.

“It was a great achievement, the perfect day for the walk.

“I had a few supporters that joined me — some made it all the way, some joined for spurts.

“On the walk today, in cash, I think we raised $1,025 in donations.

“Mr Ford called us and he was very overwhelmed and was touched and he was really, really happy about what was happening.

“He did not realise he was so well loved by the people of Bermuda. He is very grateful and he is super ecstatic about everything that is being done for him.

“I am going to go home and relax as I have to be back at work at 10am tomorrow, so I’ll probably go soak in the pool.

“As Russ always says ‘as long as a man has life, let him live’ .”

Mr Ford’s sister Patrice Ford-Smith said: “We FaceTimed with him when we were walking into Dockyard.”

Ms Ford-Smith said she hoped that her brother would return to the island next month after specialist treatment in Arizona.

The GoFundMe page has so far raised more than $50,000 to help Mr Ford, 64, cope when he comes back to the island.

• Donations can be made at gofund.me/e62ceae0, or via Butterfield Bank account No 06 007 631 900 19.

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Published April 03, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated April 03, 2023 at 7:53 am)

Mark Anderson walks the walk to help Russ Ford recover

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