by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – Father’s Day this year was extra special for Causion. Since he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in November, 2019, the South Florida-based Antiguan singer savors the joys of life while maintaining a positive attitude.
In May, he underwent an 11-hour surgery, another challenging episode for the upbeat Causion who turned 55 on June 24. He went into the marathon procedure prepared for the worst came out even more focused.
“My state of mind is solid, my faith is solid, my belief is solid. I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t feel sorry for myself,” said Causion.
His greatest contribution now is educating others, especially West Indian men of color, about the importance of early colon cancer screening. It is advice he received during his 30s but neglected.
“We as West Indian men tend not to want to do certain tests because of the homophobic things attached to it, but we’re doing ourselves a huge injustice by not going and check these things out,” he said.
In 2021, the Jamaica Cancer Society reported that colon cancer was the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. The statistic is similar in Trinidad and Tobago.
According to a 2020 report from the American Cancer Society, “Colorectal cancer also disproportionately affects the Black community, where the rates are the highest of any racial/ethnic group in the US. African Americans are about 20 per cent more likely to get colorectal cancer and about 40 per cent more likely to die from it than most other groups.”
What is even more dire, Causion notes, are diseases once associated with the elderly are now affecting young people. Though doctors advise colon screenings to start at age 45, there are cases of persons being diagnosed with the disease at earlier ages.
A father of three children and grandfather of one, Causion says making music is one of the things that gives him peace of mind. Another is going to Antigua and being with family.
“I’m constantly in and out of Antigua. Though I have lived here for many years, I feel more comfortable there….since my diagnosis, I start seeing Antigua from a different perspective,” he said.
Causion is currently working on projects under the banner, ‘Antigua Me Come From’, with the country’s tourism authorities.