PHOTO: Family and friends of Qadri Skipper and South Ozone Park community leaders cheer loudly as “Qadri’s Way” is unveiled. Courtesy of Councilman Wills’ Office
By Michael V. Cusenza
The brief-but-brave life of a South Ozone Park native was celebrated and commemorated this week during a street co-naming ceremony sponsored by City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica).
Family and friends of Qadri Skipper loudly applauded on Tuesday morning as the sign denoting “Qadri’s Way” – 110th Street between 107th and 109th avenues – was unveiled. Skipper died in 2012 after a 12-year battle with two rare medical conditions: Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia.
He was 17.
Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of high blood-pressure characterized by a narrowing of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs, causing the heart to weaken – and potentially fail – as it works harder to continue blood flow. HHT is an abnormality of the blood vessels that can cause them to rupture and bleed profusely.
Skipper has been described a tireless advocate for other children afflicted with PH and HHT, and helped them and their families to cope with the hardships of living with the ailments, including fighting to receive accommodations that enable them to lead normal lives.
“Qadri’s name means ‘Under God’s Control and Meaningful Purpose.’ At a young age, he displayed strength through adversity well beyond his years, but always with a positive attitude and compassion for others,” said his mom, Doreen Blair-Skipper. “I am proud to have been chosen to care for him because his life continues to have Meaningful Purpose: by raising awareness about the rare conditions of Pulmonary Hypertension and Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. I am honored to pay tribute to Q, and thank Councilman Ruben Wills for helping to make this commemorative ceremony possible; as well as everyone who was involved in Qadri’s care, education and emotional and spiritual support.”