Leon White Brigade
The next delegation to Iraq, Team Three, will be named for Leon White. The twenty-year-old son of Desert Storm veteran Candy Lovett, Leon died suddenly on February 7, 2002.
During the Gulf War, Candy was part of a burial detail whose job was to collect and bury Iraqi dead. In the years since the war she has suffered from both Gulf War Syndrome (which left her confined to a wheel chair) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She joined Iraq Water Project's Team Two in an attempt to find closure for this painful period of her life. Candy's trip to Iraq turned her life around. She has become a voice for the Iraqi people, speaking out against the sanctions and supporting IWP in its work to bring clean water to the people.
In the summer of 2001, her son Leon was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor of the brain stem and given two weeks to live. He had radiation treatment and, miraculously, seemed to recover. The tumor disappeared. Leon fought the disease with everything he had. It had left him partly paralyzed, but he worked hard in his therapy sessions, determined to learn to walk again. A talented young man, he planned to go to college and become a journalist.
Then, completely unexpectedly, he died early in the morning of February 7, 2002. The reasons for his death are not clear, but preliminary tests indicated a blood clot in his lungs.
Candy knows that her son supported her work with IWP and would not want her to quit. She asked that instead of sending flowers, friends would make a donation to the Iraq Water Project in memory of her son.