From Diagnosis to Advocacy
The Fight Against Cancer
It is important that as Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow’s extensive body of work is being highlighted, her battle with cancer is not relegated to a mere footnote.
The determination and ferocity with which she waged war against the disease, while still maintaining her poise, continuing her duties as Special Envoy and translating her struggle into a public teaching and advocacy moment is a vivid illustration of the true measure of the woman.
Having been diagnosed with Stage Three breast cancer in October 2011, instead of withdrawing and privately coping with her illness, the country and the world watched as she parlayed the fight for her life into an incredibly successful campaign to increase public awareness on cancer and reduce stigma and discrimination by going public. That continued drive was, as she explained to a local newspaper in the 2013 article, part of her recovery strategy.
“Sure, rest when you have to. But, you can’t let cancer take you down; you have to stay on top of things. So, if you can go into your office and still work, or give back to others in need, do it!"
Mrs. Simplis Barrow worked closely with the Belize Cancer Society to increase cancer awareness among the local population by hosting cancer forums and talking about her diagnosis. Many people have professed to undergo cancer screenings as a result of her public struggle and the strength she showed in her fight against cancer.