By Tracie Isaac –
Rochester area golfers teed off in foursomes as part of the “Life Line Benefit Golf Tournament for Crystal Scott,” at the Old Hickory Golf Club in Livonia, recently.
The Men’s Ministry of Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, which is currently led by new Senior Pastor Derrill Blue, gathered 40 plus men and one woman for a day of great weather, golfing, and dinner, during a fundraiser designed to assist Bill and Ruth Scott’s youngest daughter, Crystal Scott, in fighting her diagnosis of kidney disease.
Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Crystal, in an effort to help with her medical expenses, as a result of being diagnosed with the chronic illness.
Many city residents will remember Ruth Scott as having been the first African American elected to City Council, in addition to serving as former president of the “19th Ward Association.”
Bill Scott is also a well-known, highly-regarded music instructor who has served at the Hochstein School of Music for many years.
However, more than six years ago, as Crystal Scott was beginning her morning preparation, an event she likes to call her “re-birthday,” she suddenly and without warning suffered both kidney and heart failure.
Subsequently, her daily routine presently consists of peritoneal dialysis, one of the treatments doctors are using to manage her chronic disease and its side effects.
Another challenge Scott faces is that she is also currently unable to work full-time.
As a result, she currently serves as an advocate for the American Kidney Fund, in addition to participating as a member of National Kidney Foundation-sanctioned national and international online support groups.
In addition to Crystal, according to data from the National Kidney Foundation, the U.S. is currently in the midst of a serious public-health crisis.
Factors that include a decline in exercise; confusing USDA diet recommendations; sleep deprivation; an increase in screen time; and the availability of well-marketed, inexpensive, ultra-processed foods, have all contributed to an epidemic of unhealthy, overweight Americans.
These same issues have also contributed to higher rates of diabetes and hypertension, which are two of the leading causes of kidney disease; a disease that currently affects 26 million Americans.
Other risk factors also include the following: obesity; being age 60 or older; and African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are also at increased risk as well.
Smoking and family history are also causes of kidney failure.
As a child, Scott grew up in the city’s 19th Ward, where a saying emerged among her peers.
Borrowed from the movie “Star Wars,” that saying was, “May the Ward be with you.”
Scott has given credit to those fond memories for providing her with the firm foundation to survive her diagnosis.
She said she’d always been an involuntary observer during her mother’s frequent fundraising events, she stated, never realizing that similar events would eventually become her life line.
The Scotts have also established a GoFundMe account, and hosted prior events, like the “March 2018 Silent Auction and Entertainment Showcase,” at the Hochstein School of Music, as additional fundraising efforts.
Bill and Ruth Scott have also established a trust fund for Crystal, which they’ve created solely for her support, and to receive donations for her care.
During the most recent event, Ron Thomas, the executive director of Baden Street Settlement, was the winner of the golf tournament.
Thomas won in two categories, “Closest To The Pin” and “Longest Drive.”
The event’s organizers included community members such as Mordecai Jones and Melvin Smith, co-chairs of the benefit; Bernard McDavid, leader of the Men’s Ministry of Memorial A.M.E. Zion; and Luvert “Lu” Walker II.
Several other church members also helped the tournament to run smoothly.
Bill, Ruth, and Crystal Scott are grateful to the many community members who have contributed to the family’s fund so far.