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In February 2019, the day after his third birthday, Quinn Waters was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The day after that, he had surgery to remove 90% of the tumor. The remaining portion was resting on his brain stem and has been treated with three rounds of chemotherapy, one round of high-dose chemotherapy and one stem cell transplant.
In January of this year, Quinn went to his routine check-up, and unfortunately, they discovered two new nodules and a lesion in a different location than the original tumor site.
“We had an 18-month window where we were free and then we got the devastating news again,” said Quinn’s dad, Local 327’s Jarlath Waters. In March Quinn began six weeks of high dose radiation five days a week. He has responded well and is now awaiting his check up in May with the hope that all brain cancer cells are eradicated.
Jarlath, his wife Tara, their daughter Maggie and “The Mighty Quinn” have had the support from the Carpenters union and Jarlath’s employer S&F Concrete from the very start with members remodeling their basement in 2019 so that Quinn and Maggie had a nicer space to play while he was confined to the house.
“It really is a Brotherhood. I’ve made lifelong friends in the union. It is like family.” Jarlath said the financial and emotional support has been great, but what union members and others have done that’s been so helpful is raise the profile of “The Mighty Quinn” and his battle with cancer. “It’s all about awareness and even if we could help alleviate some stress for one family, then that’s better than nothing,” said Jarlath.
In the last six months, the union has held two blood drives at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester, dedicated to “The Mighty Quinn” with one scheduled and already full for next Thursday. Having a reliable source of fresh, healthy blood is so important to kids like Quinn who are patients at Boston Children’s Hospital. Thanks to our staff and members, we’ve been able to send the Children’s Hospital Bloodmobile back with plenty of “Pints for Half Pints” over the past number of months with more on the horizon.
“We’re so grateful for these blood drives. When people ask how they can help, I say ‘roll up your sleeves’ because one blood donation helps four kids at the Children’s Hospital. A bunch of carpenters could help 100 kids so what the union has been doing is really really great.”
Just last week, Quinn had a very special visit at his home. UBC General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn, EST Joe Byrne, Local 327 Business Manager Rile Rhodes, Business Representative, Raheem Shepard and Organizer Martin Sanchez stopped by to check in and let Quinn know that he had become an Honorary Member of the UBC. They presented Quinn with his UBC membership card on a gold-plate plaque signed by UBC General President Doug McCarron, General Vice Presidents Frank Spencer and David Tharp, and Tom Flynn.
Jarlath said that Quinn was so excited to meet people who he works with and says with a smile, “Whatever building we pass in Boston – be it a 20 story or a two-story house – Quinn shouts ‘my daddy built that!’”
There were plenty of smiles all around, and Jarlath said it was lovely to see everyone and catch up while the sun shined. That night, Quinn told Jarlath that he was ready to be a union carpenter and repeatedly chanted “concrete, concrete, concrete!” with his UBC plaque in his hands.
Sounds like someone is already union proud and ready to be a third-generation union carpenter! Welcome to the Brotherhood to the very Mighty Quinn!
For more ways to offer support to Quinn and his family, please click here