Marcia Priyadarshani Gordon, a phenomenal young woman gone too soon

Alexandria Gordon, left with her dearly departed daughter Marcia PRIYADARSHANI Gordon – “a late woman of courage” at a past HERO function, an organization where she volunteered, founded by doctors, Harrison Mitchell and John Mitchell, who brought her to the US for treatment in 2016.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

As we start the observances of Woman’s History Month, we must all be guided by a young woman named Marcia Priyadarshani Gordon, whose courage, brave heart, and indominable spirit will forever be etched in the words, phenomenal woman.

For more than eight years, Guyanese-born Gordon, battled and fought to overcome the dreaded cancer disease, and even though her body was ravished, and she had countless hospital visits, and medicinal regiments, she never gave in, and never wavered in her determination to get up every day to make a difference, in every facet of life where there was a role she had to play.

She created decoupages, she wrote her thoughts for others to read, did jigsaw puzzles, she fashioned outfits, and most of all, she made the lives of others better.

Unfortunately, on Feb. 12, Marcy lost her brave fight, and died, after being hospitalized for a short period. This may have been her last time on this earth, but this young woman who died at age 35 after being diagnosed at age 26 in her homeland of Guyana, has left a trail of love, devotion, and tireless work for many to emulate.

Marcia, who was the only daughter of her loving parents Alexandria and Philip Gordon, was laid to rest on Feb. 24, after a celebration of life going home service, fit for the angel she was.

St. John’s United Methodist Church in Valley Stream was packed with friends and family, and many whose heart she touched, and experienced the extraordinary live Marcia lived, after migrating to the United States many years ago, bringing with her passion, and commitment despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The multi-faceted young woman was described as a front-runner. From a very young age, she hosted a weekly children’s television program through UNICEF, volunteered at the National Library and outdoor activities as part of the President’s Youth Award Republic of Guyana program where she was the recipient of the bronze level award.

A former student of Guyana’s prestigious Bishop’s and Queen’s College High School, where she excelled, both academically and socially, and led teams in the Interact Club and the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship groups, where Marcia was a force to be reckoned with.

With such brilliance, it was inevitable that Marcia attended the University of Guyana and became a leader of the Campus Crusade for Christ and represented Guyana in Trinidad. She volunteered for the Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity becoming a laboratory lecturer assistant.

After graduation, the talented young lady became project officer at the Guyana Forestry Commission where she was part of the delegation to China. She was a polling staff for the 2015 Guyana Elections Commission and served as a supervisor for six Enumeration Districts within Ogle Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara Bureau of Statistics for the Population Census of 2012. Marcia was loved by all and charmed all whom she met. Her favorite verse was, “When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm. Father, you are King over the flood. I will be still and know that you are God.”

Serving as a Sunday School teacher, participating in dance, steel pan, becoming a lay preacher for the Presbyterian Church of Guyana, volunteering with HEROC, Guyana Cultural Association summer workshop, the Bishops High School New York Tristate Chapter, and the United Methodist Church of South Floral Park, were some of the extraordinary ways this energetic young woman lived her life.

Over eight years, Marcy meshed into the Welshman-Neblett family home and adopted Lorna as her second mother. The strong family bond that lasted for eight years until Marcia’s passing, could be described as incredible for both Marcia and Alexandria who, brothers Drs. John and Harrison Mitchel’s medical outreach in Guyana, brought Marcia to the US for cancer treatment, in January 2016.

Learning to die, and the rendition, “You are My Special Angel, guided Rev. Delroy Murdock tribute that said, “Timothy spoke of laying a good foundation so that they may take hold of life which is life indeed and find speed to God our sister our friends.”

“Marcia had laid hold upon true life when she embraced the Christian faith and the hope of life eternal. She was faithful to God as she walked this Pilgrim path, she helped herself to the faith community of the S floral park for many years,” said Rev. Murdock.

“She served the church in various capacities while life was not easy. She laid on the opportunities that life afforded and she made the best of it as God opened doors she walked through, and God bless the world with her, and she was a blessing to so many others in this life,” he said.

Alexandria Gordon’s deeply, heartfelt tribute, spoke of Marcia’s kind heart, love of sharing, caring and her devotion to Christianity.

“This beautiful morning is the perfect opportunity to thank God for reminding us of how blessed we are to have known Marcia Priyadarshani Gordon. She was a resilient, selfless young woman, who has set the pace for us to follow. I was blessed to be chosen as her mama. Our daily conversations would usually include good morning, mama goodnight, mama, I love you, mama. You’re the wind beneath my wings.”

“My response would be, no, you’re the wind beneath my wings. She was beautiful, trustworthy, intelligent and the best friend anyone could ever find. The right words to describe her if I told her how special she was, she would say don’t put me on a pedestal mama, I’m not your idol, your only idol should be God.”

“Marcia participated in numerous groups during her time. She did not waste one minute of her dash between 2016 and 2024 the time that she was dealing with her health. She was approachable and had a kind word for everyone. She was self-motivated, a natural leader and always surprised people with her never-ending list of abilities. Her mantra was made-up of three words perseverance, determination, and manageable.”

“It’s manageable Mama I’m fine, is what she would say when she was at her lowest life. She was a jigsaw puzzle she believed that eventually all the pieces would fall into place. She did not spend her time focusing on regrets or being angry with anyone, but she preferred to focus on wisdom and faithfulness she believed in a true witness to the Christian life,” said Alexandria.

“Marcia had a special message for auntie Lorna who was here throughout her journey. She said auntie Lorna thank you for being my angel, handpicked by God. “You open your doors offering us accommodations and much more. You went beyond your kindness teaching more of the love of God than many sermons, in Galatians, kindness is the fruit of the spirit.

“Lorna, I also thank you from the bottom of my heart I also want to thank everyone else for being with Marcia and myself through this journey and coming here today to celebrate her life. May you find comfort in knowing someone so special can never be forgotten. Thank you, Marcia, for being the best daughter. There will never be another. Farewell, my special angel until we meet again,” said Alexandria, of Marcia, a recipient of many citations, proclamations, and awards.

In a touching tribute, Lorna Welshman-Neblett, said “Marcia has been an inspiration from day one, she was one of the most positive persons I have ever met and remained positive. She was a kind human being there is nothing you asked of her that she did not do. Everyone who met her loved her, she was always smiling and very caring despite what she was experiencing. She fought a good fight.”

“Marcia woke up every day with a smile on her face never complaining and because of that I learned not to complain about anything because what I saw her going through, I didn’t even want to say I have a headache because it’s not important to Marcia,” said Lorna, who thanked the dearly departed angel for taking care of her after a surgery, even providing physical therapy.

Marcia lived a full life, said Dr. Harrison Mitchell, with his brother Dr. John Mitchell standing beside him. He thanked his sister Denise, and friend Dolores for being the beacon of help getting Marcia to treatments.

Dr. H. Mitchell described the young woman in the words of friend, family, forgiveness, gratitude. Marcia was grateful for every day that she lived. She never considered herself to be a victim. She said, “I don’t ask myself why me, I ask myself why not me.”

“Marcia found beauty in everything, the snow until her mother fell then she didn’t like the snow anymore, he quipped, adding that she loved Christmas and loved life despite her terminal diagnosis. I knew she was happy; I have never seen her sad even in the most difficult circumstances.”

“Marcia was brilliant, creative, altruistic, loving, and joked, she was very mischievous. “Marcia never saw your race, your status,, your complexion, she saw people. Don’t matter what Marcia was going through, she never blamed anyone,” said Dr. H. Mitchell.

There were many tributes from friends and family too numerous to mention.

“May this virtuous princess I met many years ago, rest peacefully. Our community will forever treasure your soul, Marcia. You are now soaring with the angels.”