Special Olympics athlete undergoes brain surgery

Orden McKeevan Anglin with some of the medals he has won in Special Olympics Games.

Special Olympics athlete Orden McKeevan Anglin has returned to Cayman following brain surgery for the removal of a tumor at the University of Miami Hospital.

This was his second diagnosis of cancer; six years ago, he had radiation therapy for cancer in the throat and neck. His family says he still needs to return to Miami for radiation and chemotherapy treatments next month for the brain cancer.

“It was difficult hearing it a second time around,” and it proved to be “very difficult because he had been through enough in his life,” said his cousin, Lisa Prendergast.

Known as “Keevin” or “Ke Ke” by the local Special Olympics community, Mr. Anglin, 53, has been involved with Special Olympics Cayman Islands since its inception, and he has won more than 20 medals in his travels to many countries, including China, the U.S. and Ireland. Last year, he competed in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

The Special Olympics Cayman Islands describes Mr. Anglin as a “special ambassador for the Cayman Islands [and] simply put, he is a dedicated athlete and truly an asset to SOCI.”

Described by his family as happy, free-spirited and work-driven, Mr. Anglin, who is employed by Dart, is an avid member of the congregation of the Wesleyan Holiness Church, and a big fan of western movies.

In addition to his battles with cancer, Mr. Anglin has encountered many other hardships throughout his life. His father died in a car crash in 1987, and his mother died from ALS disease six years later. Two of his brothers disappeared – brother Darrel Anglin, a chef, went missing in the late 1980s, and Burney Anglin, disappeared in the 1990s. Another brother died in a car crash. In 2004, Mr. Anglin’s aunt and primary caregiver, Joyce Prendergast, died one week after Hurricane Ivan.

Since his aunt’s death, Mr. Anglin has been in the care of another aunt, Matlee Anglin, and has had support from the rest of his family.

Recent surgery

Though the family hoped that the recent surgery would remove Mr. Anglin’s entire tumor, the news from the doctor was only somewhat positive.

“It’s not that the surgery didn’t go well,” said Ms. Anglin, “it’s just that we didn’t know how [aggressive his condition] really was.”

“[The doctors] said it was surely a successful [surgery],” said his cousin, Lisa Prendergast, “but not all the tumor would be removed. The rest would have to be treated with radiation and chemotherapy.”

“We’re just asking the public for lots of prayers,” said Ms. Prendergast. “We thank everybody for [their] support, [and] the family thanks those who have donated and supported.”

To make a donation or for more information, contact Matlee Anglin on 926-0898, Lisa Prendergast 916-3143 or Danna Morris at 925-6580.

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