Headline — 25 September 2012 — by Adele Ramos
Khalid Hyde, 18, passes

He was the eldest grandson of Kremandala chairman Evan X Hyde and son of Cordel Hyde, former Minister of Education, Youth and Sports

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 24, 2012

Kremandala is mourning the loss of Khalid Hyde, 18, of Brooklyn, New York – the eldest grandson of chairman Evan X Hyde and son of Cordel Hyde, former Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, who had resigned from the campaign trail earlier this year after learning that his son had been diagnosed with cancer.

Speaking with Amandala from New York tonight, Khalid’s father described his son as “bighearted.” He said that Khalid – whose Arabic name means “eternal” or “immortal” – came face to face with his mortality.

“He fought this disease with everything he had, even though it was ravaging him. He fought it and he was brave throughout. He didn’t flinch. He was always a warrior; he was to the end,” said Hyde.

In a statement issued before this year’s general elections, Hyde, in resigning as People’s United Party standard bearer for Lake I in Belize City, said that Khalid had been diagnosed in a New York hospital on Monday, January 30, with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, Hyde told us tonight that his son had a much more aggressive type of cancer than they thought. It was a type of large B-cell type lymphoma that was spreading faster than doctors knew.

“The hospitals he went to, nobody had seen it before. Doctors at the hospital he was said it is a strange variation of that particular lymphoma,” said Hyde.

Khalid, who was hospitalized for three months, had been given 8 rounds of chemotherapy and specialized scans done recently had suggested that 95% of the tumor, which was over his heart, was dead, his father said. That diagnosis was wrong again, as later tests revealed that the dead cells were masking what later proved to be a fast-spreading tumor that overtook young Khalid’s body over the course of the last few weeks.

The National Cancer Institute in the US reports that so far in 2012, there have been 70,130 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a large group of cancers of the white blood cells which includes the large B-cell type lymphoma, and 18,940 deaths reported in the US.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss, the institute said.

“In the end he told us, ‘Please let them find a cure for this disease. No one should have to go through that’,” Hyde recollected.

Khalid Kori Justice Hyde passed away on Sunday at around 7:15 p.m. (about 5:15 Belize time) in New York. He will be sadly missed by his relatives and friends, among them his mother – Shirlette Garnett (sister of Evan “Duck” Garnett), and his siblings Kamisha, Khalilah, Cadwell, Kada, Kiara, Kenyah and Kaliah.

Arrangements are being made in New York for a thanksgiving service to be held by the end of the week, after which he will be flown to Belize for services next week at St. Ignatius Parish.

Hyde said his son’s wish was to return to Belize for burial: “He made it known Saturday night. He wanted me to take him home, so I have to fulfill that promise.”

Hyde told us that it was really important to his son that they send their gratitude to all who ever prayed for him and ever thought about him during the time of his suffering.

Since the report of Khalid’s passing, there has been an outpouring of condolences from friends and well-wishers.

Khalid turned 18 on February 16, 2012, and he was looking forward to attending college in January 2013. However, this weekend, he accepted that his life’s journey had been cut short and he chose sleep over being kept on life support.

“By Saturday night,” said Cordel, “he knew that he was faced with two choices: go on the machine which would keep him alive longer but he would be highly sedated… or face up to what he has to, knowing they can’t do anything else for him… He opted for the latter: He decided to go, not knowing how long he will last – hours or days… He took his last breath in our presence… He knew where he was headed. He just told me, ‘I’m out, pops.’”

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