In the Face of Adversity, Beauty, Poise and Desire to Educate and Serve by Fayemarie Anderson Carter

The First Lady of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow

When someone is fighting the fight of her life, everything else falls away. Or at least, it should. For her, it is minute to minute. It becomes about nausea and holding down just the least bit of food. It’s constant needles searching for veins to draw blood. It’s about white blood cells and anemia. It’s about dry eyes and mouth sores from the chemo. It is about atrophy and fatigue. It becomes about carrying on with your everyday duties without fretting about an uncertain future. It is about facing death in the mirror everyday and vowing to overcome. Sometimes, one can’t help but dissolve into tears as the frustration and fear overwhelms even the strongest determination. It is hard enough in private, looking at the anxious faces of loved ones who are trying to hide their worry as they smile encouragingly. She ends up comforting them, desperately trying to allay their concerns. It is exhausting and contemplating another day just like this one, disheartening. And this lady is doing it publicly.

Not only does she have to deal with her own struggles, she must do it against cutting sarcasm and hurtful slander. Shame on you out there who can not leave your pettiness behind. Shame on you out there who can’t muster up a bit of compassion for a fellow human being in her darkest hour. She is a person. Just like you. Just like your mother. Just like your daughter. How dare you allow vitriol to spew from your lips, poisoning every good intention, every good effort? When you display such animosity and hateful behaviour, you do nothing against her, my friend, my lover of Belize. YOU show who YOU ARE and just what YOU ARE NOT.

I am sure that our First Lady, Kim Simplis Barrow, has already forgiven you. She has already come to terms with the idea that people will hate her because of her position and has come to accept it. BUT my lovers of Belize, that doesn’t make it okay. If you are guilty of such an egregious act, I challenge you to do something to make up for it. Get educated about cancer and its debilitating effects. Get educated about how you can be a part of the fight. I challenge you to walk a mile in her shoes and try to imagine how you would like to be treated and then do that, be that.

26 thoughts on “In the Face of Adversity, Beauty, Poise and Desire to Educate and Serve by Fayemarie Anderson Carter

  1. May you see the light in the darkness during these challenging times.
    May you feel the loving presence of those who hold you in their thoughts & prayers.
    May your spirit find what it needs to sustain you on this journey.
    May you discover your inner strength & face all difficulties with dignity & grace.
    May you be filled with comfort, love, strength, grace & a lasting sense of peace. May God continue to Bless you and your family. You remain in my prayers.

  2. I have seen two loved ones go through this illness and can tell you it’s no joke . We only see the what they want us to see but behind close doors things are completely different . I don’t think this is the right moment for anyone to be arguing about a person’s illness infact we should all join and pray for Ms Kim and anyone else who is personally living this experience. We don’t know how long nor when God will call upon them but we do know they are here now so lets be polite and educated enough to make what little or grand life they have left happy . I unfortunately lost both cousins and friends. God is great ….peace everyone.

  3. Reblogged this on Twocanview and commented:

    I thought that given the events of the day, we need to remind ourselves who this lady is and how strong she is. I’m sorry Kim that people can be insensitive; I have found that people sometimes just don’t know how else to be. We stand beside you.

  4. Pingback: Hellerrrrrr! 05-12-12 « Twocanview

  5. You are in our prayers and thoughts Mrs Barrow, we love you dearly, you are such an inspiration to all women. Remember al to keep sending praises us and blessings will flow.

  6. I have been reading the comments above and have this to say. I respect Kim Simpliss Barrow for her courage and strength to go public with her disease, however at same time I can understand the frustration Audrey expressed. There is so much more to cancer than Mrs.Barrow’s battle. It is not all about her. There are so many people suffering from the disease but cannot access treatment because of the cost and availability in this country. There is also so much work being done by people who do so quietly. Young humble people struggling to go away and study so they can come home and serve the poorest of the poor. Please let’s support and appreciate but let’s not be distracted by Mrs. Barrow’s battle, let’s not use it to censor the voices of people who witness daily, the ultimate struggle of those who are far less fortunate than most of us on this blog. I continue to pray for the speedy recovery of Mrs. Barrow.

    • Thank you for having the courage to say what will most certainly be unpopular, considering the previous comments. I can understand where you are coming from Michelle Williams. It takes many people, many years of experience, dedicated research and money for recovery to be possible; and, there are many who will not survive this disease. No one is trying to deny that or overshadow those less fortunate. However, there is no excuse to publicly degrade a person when she is at her lowest point in her life. That, I believe, is what everyone is trying to make clear, some more crass than others, but the sentiment is valid and honest, none the less. The attack on Mrs. Barrow is directly a result of envy and resentment for her position and access to care. Would you rather she not have it? Let’s not be shortsighted. As First Lady of Belize, she can draw invaluable attention and resources to a cause hitherto was struggling to gain a foothold in our consciousness. Look. The bottom line is your friend, and others like her, offended and hurt people with her words. Perhaps, she could have chosen different words to express her concerns, observations and beliefs so as to avoid such a negative reaction. As it is, it would seem that she could make an effort to repair. Sincere apologies serve well in these situations.


    • FAC….I am not a personal friend of Audrey or anyone who have made hurtful comments to Mrs. barrow during this time. From what I can see most of these comments are a result of ignorance and mischief. However, it seems that if anyone, in particularly a woman, makes a comment that doesn’t fit with the current trend they are accused of envy or jealousy or having something personal against Mrs. Barrow. What I read from Audrey’s post however, was nothing personal, it was a valid point of view and one you would be surprised to know how many agree with, but are afraid of the backlash that might come with it. In my opinion there is a paradox of motives coming from this discussion. On one hand the event at the Bliss certainly brought attention to a cause that may not have enjoyed the limelight until now…….hopefully the attention will be productive. However what makes me mad is at the same time when these high speeches are being given , young doctors are being denied access to basic funding in order to study oncologogy so to return to Belize and serve the poorest of the poor. I would want to see attention being given to both public figures and those quietly humble ones too!

    • Perhaps we are not referring to the same incident…as a matter of fact, I am sure of it. Just to reassure you, I didn’t write my article in response to any one in particular. We have many obstacles to overcome. I don’t wish to make progress dependent on politics. We strive to be very impartial as writers of twocanview. As such, we invite you to bring light to the issues we face as we try to fight cancer, as women, as a community, as a nation. We will be launching a page dedicated to the support of cancer victims and their caregivers in just a day or two. I look forward to hearing about your young doctors who would like to serve Belize.

    • I look forward to your page. Congrats on being proactive and non- political…it really doesn’t serve any good being drawn into negative talk and political rhetoric. I look forward to further discussions on your blog…and Happy Monday !

    • What you didnt see were comments she deleted accusing the first lady of posturing for sympathy. Totally disrespectful, personal and irrelevant to make a point.

    • If those comments were made then they were unfortunate to say the least and has no place in any productive public forum.

  7. I have a cousin who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is presently receiving Chemo and is fighting the battle as well. She says she has days when all she want to do is cry and cry; she even wonder what she did that is so bad to deserve this sickness. I want to say that she has done nothing bad, our God is a just God. He knows that my cousin and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow are strong and determine women. He did this so that when other women are diagnosed, we can look upon women like these for our strength, our determination, our drive to fight, to live for our kids, our family, our loved ones. You ladies are a true inspiration. I know that if one day I am diagnosed with this sickness, I will be a survivor because of these strong women. I am truly proud of you. I want to say that I wish you both a speedy recovery and remember that you are not fighting the battle alone. The Belizean populace are praying along with you, we are praying for you. Keep on being strong.

  8. I am proud to be a Belizean with the likes of Kim. I know for a fact that more than a few women have been tested and checked because of Kim’s awareness campaign. I had the opportunity to read some shit posted by the infamous Audrey Matura Shepard on J. Godwin’s wall and was blown away by her “educated ignorance”. She is a shame and disgrace to all Belizean women. I feel for her. She is so desperate for attention that she is willing to stoop to the lowest low but God is the ultimate judge so we will leave her to Him 🙂 Keep you head and spirits high Kim!!!

  9. Lady Kim is an inspiration to humanity. I’m so touched by her grace and sincerity in sharing this unfortunate experience with the world. May God Almighty contininously bless her and strenghten her family to cope with this ill fated instance. I am prayerful that her recovery will be hasten and complete. We truly admire your courage and determination to bring awareness to the world. You are an Angel and we do love you so much. Get well soon Lady Kim, We will pray in earnest for your full recovery.

  10. I am so proud of my sister Kim and all she is doing to spread awareness. Kim, is a person with such humility and empathy for others irrespective of their political affiliations. I extend a heart full of gratitude to everyone who have been so gracious, kind and prayful towards her and my family.

    • Please extend our sincerest wishes for continued strength and support to your sister, Candice. She is definitely on our thoughts always.

    • GOD will see her tru ! we r praying for her speedy recovery we want you to know that nothing can take away your beauty ,nothing compares to you . i also want to share a bible text with you ” i am sure that GOD ,who began this good work in you ,will carry it on until it is finished on the DAY of CHRIST JESUS .” we love MRS KIM SIMPLIS BARROW!!!!

  11. I am so proud to see the manner in which our First Lady of Belize has embraced this new challenge in her life. This will bring new awareness to the illness, cancer, and its challenges. There is so much that people need to know about cancer, its prevention, early detection, and treatment. There is also life after cancer so rather than getting depressed, we need to encourage cancer survivors to experience life to the fullest and to continue to move forward with renewed purpose. Thank you Kim for sharing your experience with all of us. I will include you in my prayers. God bless.

  12. She is an inspiration to all Belizeans. So many of us would have collapsed from depression, yet she continues to work and smile with grace. I wish her nothing but the best!!

  13. with grace we can all endure, your journey is long, but with support you will over come.

    • Kim, we pray for God to give you the strength to endure. You’re an inspiration to many. When someone in the family gets this dreadful disease, the whole family and clan gets it because they suffer with the patient emotinally. Stay strong and let your HOPE and FAITH keep you strong. I lost my mum to breast ca and remember every single day of her difficult days, it was not easy. Its a long journey that we’ll walk with you in spirit. May God continue to bless you and your family as they fight the battle with you. You will WIN it….

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