Marilyn Glasgow (left), who has worked at Scrub Island Resort for about six years, thanked everyone who came out and helped raise the money to cover her bone marrow transplant. (Photo: JOEY WALDINGER)

Employees at Scrub Island Resort hosted a benefit last Thursday to raise money to cover the costs of a bone marrow transplant for one of their coworkers diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.

Through the course of the night, $23,000 was raised to help pay for Marilyn Glasgow’s surgery, bringing the total sum raised to about $48,000, she said. Although this is only a fraction of the $200,000 the surgery will cost — National Health Insurance covers her pain management regimen of daily pills, weekly injections and monthly IV drips, but wil lnot cover the surgery itself — she is counting on a higher power to make it happen, she said.

“I do believe in God, and I hope that faith is going to step in,” she said.

DJ Push Pop emceed Thursday’s event, which opened with a silent auction, as servers roamed around with hors d’ouevre and attendees helped themselves to complimentary drinks and a small buffet dinner, milling about from item to item as the music played.

“I’d like to say thank you, Scrub Island family, for the fundraiser and your continued generous support,” Ms. Glasgow told the attendees. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Tom Haines, vice president of operations at Main Sail Lodging and Development, who hired Ms. Glasgow to work at the resort, also spoke.

“I worked here for a short time back in 2016 and I’m responsible for hiring Marilyn,” he said, adding, “I was charmed by her smile and her grace and I thought this is someone that I want to work with, … and she’s been a big part of our family.”

After allotting about an hour for attendees to make their bids at the silent auction, organisers asked everyone to gather in a nearby conference room for the live auction.

The prospective bidders were at first apprehensive, but in time, and not without some humorous prodding from DJ Push Pop, they started to spend.

Bids for a three-day catamaran charter, complete with a private captain and chef, started at $2,750 and eventually capped out at $3,400.

Just before the auction came to a close, Mr. Haines announced that the silent auction had raised $9,000 while the IAM Jet Centre and Family Support Network donated $200 and $500, respectively.

At the next full moon party, raffle tickets will be sold for $10 to benefit Ms. Glasgow’s surgery.

Multiple myeloma

Until being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in October, Ms. Glasgow had never been sick during the six years she’s worked at Scrub Island, she said.

She initially went to the doctor because of injuries to her neck, but after she was prescribed treatments that worsened her symptoms, a doctor in St. Thomas diagnosed her with the disease, she said.

The disease — a cancer that attacks plasma blood cells and causes cancerous cells to accumulate in the bone marrow — can cause symptoms including pain and fatigue.

According to the American Cancer Society, “Often, multiple myeloma causes no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage,” though occasionally “it might cause vague symptoms that at first seem to be caused by other diseases.”

The best way to find out whether someone has the disease is to take a complete blood count, which measures the levels of red cells, white cells, and platelets in the blood, the ACS states.

Ms. Glasgow, however, is as happy as ever to do her job, she said.

“I’m only doing light work,” she said, adding, “I’m still enjoying work; it’s what I love to do.”

Psychological toll

But the disease has taken a psychological toll on her, she said.

She is anxious to put the surgery behind her, but is heartened by the support from her friends and family, she said.

“To be honest, part of me is convinced that it’s gonna be okay, and part of me is hoping it’s gonna turn out okay,” she said, adding, “But my friends, my family, everybody is very supportive. They think at the end of this I’m gonna be back to my old self again.”