Faith beyond the rest

Even though her son has been lying in a semi-comatose state for nearly two years, one Whitworth mother has still not given up faith.

Delali Dogbé, mother of Ghanaian student Kel­vin Garner, professed her faith to the Whitworth community Feb. 11 at the Gospel Explosion event.

“He will live,” Dogbé told the audience. “With God’s grace, Kelvin will live.”

Garner suffered a near-drowning experience in June 2009 after slipping on the edge of a pool and falling in, Dogbé said. Garner also suffered head injuries at the time. Since then, Garner has been in a semi-comatose state at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Garner can open and close his eyes, but receives his nutrition either intravenously or through a feeding tube.

Dogbé left Ghana to be with her son as soon as she heard about the accident, and has remained in Spokane since then. She describes her role as “Kelvin’s call bell,” citing how other patients have a button they can press to call the medical staff at the hospital. Since Garner cannot press a button, Dogbé stays by him to ensure that he appears com­fortable.

“He cries when I leave him,” Dogbé said. “He knows.”

Dogbé initially stayed in an apartment, but when Garner’s condition became more critical, she de­cided to begin staying with him at all hours. She now sleeps in a cot beside his bed, and runs her Ghanaian catering business from the family room across the hall.

“Now I stay in his room, and sometimes go to the waiting area to relax,” Dogbé said.

Before the accident, Garner studied pre-law at Whitworth. His decision to pursue pre-law sur­prised his mother.

“He had been a science student all his life,” Dog­bé said. “We expected him to study medicine, but he convinced me that this was a good choice. Once he made the choice, I noticed how much he likes to argue.”

In Ghana, Garner would advise his mother re­garding practical parts of her life, such as finances and business ventures.

When he came to Whitworth, Garner would send his mother messages about theories he had learned in class to help her with her small business, Dogbé said.

Dogbé also remembers him telling her about all of the friends he was meeting in his new home.

“He’s an outgoing type of per­son,” she said. “When he gets close to people, he makes friends.”

Those friends all came together to support Gar­ner through Gospel Explosion, an event put on by the Black Student Union.

The event has a 13-year history at Whitworth, and has been used as a fundraiser for Garner for the last two years.

Gospel Explosion brought together various gos­pel choirs from the Spokane area, as well as other worship performers such as dancers and other mu­sicians.

“I told the students that I wanted to support Kel­vin, and they came along because he’s one of our own students and a lot of people knew him,” BSU advisor Stephaine Nobles-Beans said.

Last year, Gospel Explosion raised more than $3,300 for Garner’s fam­ily, according to a pre­vious Whitworthian re­port.

This year, the event raised another $1,700 for the cause. This mon­ey will be used to help pay for various costs re­lated to Garner’s situa­tion, BSU president Gilbert Sandoval said.

“The medical bills are through the millions right now,” Sandoval said. “We’re trying to help his mom and help some of his family members from Ghana come to see him one last time.”

Although doctors have told Dogbé there is not much more they can do, she refuses to give up hope.

“When human thoughts have ended, that’s when God begins his work, so that it’s clear that God is doing it,” she said. “If not for God, Kelvin would have died in the pool.”

Whitworth faculty and staff members pull her through, Dogbé said.

“Mama Beans and others have been so good to me,” Dogbé said.

The international office, Vice President for Stu­dent Life Kathy Storm, dean of spiritual life Terry McGonigal and the Ghanaian students have also been influencial.

Although she expresses great thanks to these members of the Whitworth community, Dogbé wishes students visited more often.

“I appeal to those who were close to Kelvin be­fore this happened,” Dogbé said. “They shouldn’t feel bad to get closer to him because he needs their love. He hears, so if they come and talk to him, he will hear. Their love will help him and by the grace of God, he will achieve life.”

Story by Lindsie Wagner

Photo by Chrissy Roach

Pirate radio: The man behind the mic

The man behind

Amidst the work that people put into classes at Whitworth, people also devote time to hobbies and passions.

Working for, senior David Dennis is able to get the best of both worlds. He is able to get paid for what he loves to do.

With a passion for radio, Dennis devotes a lot of his time to this field of media.

“Sometimes I feel guilty,” Dennis said. “It’s like sec­ond nature for me and I am getting paid for it.”

Dennis is the general manager for the radio station here on campus and is in charge of coordinating class and making sure everything is running well at the sta­tion.

“I mediate and supervise everything that happens on the radio,” Dennis said. “Not only do I love my job because it’s on campus, but it’s also easy to me.”

However, Dennis’ knack for radio did not begin on Whitworth’s campus.

Dennis produced live radio professionally for a year in California.

“I worked for CBS professionally in Los Angeles,” Dennis said. “Then I gave up my job to come to Whit­worth.”

As a senior, Dennis is considering a career path that allows him to express himself in radio.

“I hope to work in radio after I graduate,” Dennis said.

Most professionals in the radio industry do not have full time jobs in radio and can pursue radio forever, Dennis said.

Although this is only his first year working for the ra­dio, Dennis has been given the opportunity to form new relationships outside of classes.

“I have built relationships on the job through learn­ing experiences and affirming others,” Dennis said.

The only downfall to Dennis’s experience with has been when people have gotten up­set with him.

Dennis likes several aspects of radio but the op­portunity to use creativity is among his favorites. He likes the fact that the host is in control of the radio show.

“I am not the best student academically but radio is something that I understand very well,” Dennis said.

Dennis likes the excitement that goes along with radio along with the aspect of creativity.

“You have to get the public involved and that’s what makes it so exciting,” Dennis said.

Radio is also very fast paced and requires you to think on your toes, Dennis said.

Dennis works with a wide range of people from the Whitworth community. Both students and professors work with him on their radio shows.

Second passion found in film

Along with his passion for radio, Dennis also has a strong pas­sion for film.

Directing, producing, consulting, special effects, pyro­technics and stunt work are his favorite aspects of film, Dennis said.

Dennis has also had a taste of professional film in the industry through starring in the movie “American East” and in television shows like “Wild N’ Out” with Nick Cannon.

“I also did an internship in Spokane with a show called ‘Knights of Badassdom,’” Dennis said.

The show involved Larping in the form of comedy and horror.

“When I was younger, I moved to a place called La Can­ada, Los Angeles and there are a lot of people in the film industry down there,” Dennis said.

Dennis also had family members who were in the industry and has been interested in these types of things for as long as he can remember.

“The first movie I ever saw in theaters was ‘Little Mermaid’ and it was an amazing experience,” Dennis said.

Recently, Dennis watched ‘Toy Story 3’ after having watched the first and second one years ago.

“I actually began to tear up as I watched it because I have been on a jour­ney with these toys since the third grade,” Dennis said.

Dennis plans on pursuing a career in film eventually; however, he plans on sticking to radio until he gets there.

“My father is a pastor and he always said ‘always do what you love,’” Den­nis said.

Dennis understands that film is the most over-saturated industry in the world but still plans on striving to be successful in it for the rest of his life.

Picking up a second job this semester while trying to balance school, Dennis has a pretty booked schedule.

“However, I am thinking about film numerous times a day and when I go to bed,” Dennis said.

Even teachers understand that when Dennis zones out in class he is usually thinking about film.

“I’ll be in a philosophy class, for example, and I will be thinking about how things can be turned into film ideas,” Dennis said.

Although Dennis feels strongly about film, he is not one of those people that critique movies all the time.

People who over critique movies are a little pretentious, Dennis said.

He understands that film is not easy and tries to appreciate the film production for what it is.

“With all of the difficulties, I think films are so great because for an hour and a half, they take us away from our troubles,” Dennis said.

Dennis also believes that film invokes a wide range of emotions from different types of people.

Not making it in the industry doesn’t phase him at all, he said. His life goal is to be successful at it.

Dennis plans on using both of his hobbies in radio and film to guide his life and plans to gain more experience in the two fields.

Story by Remi Omodara Photos by Deidre Low/Chrissy Roach