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Oct 9, 2018

2018 Cancer Survivors Photo Unveiling

Breast and cervical cancers are the two prevalent forms of the disease that affect women; prostate cancer is common among men. This morning at the Biltmore Plaza, tribute was paid to women who are cancer survivors and others who are fighting the deadly disease. As part of the activities for breast cancer month, a photo exhibition was unveiled to inspire others to get tested early.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

October is recognized annually by the Belize Cancer Society as breast cancer awareness month. This particular disease along with cervical cancer has been affecting many women. The organization has been embarking on extensive campaigns to reduce the number of persons afflicted with various cancers, by getting tem tested early and regularly.


Laura Longsworth

Laura Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society

“Clinically, breast exams really help and an examination by a health professional. We still have to determine in Belize what we are going to tell our women when do you have your first mammogram. The first world North American protocol states that you start at forty. We have quite a number of women, twenty-eight, thirty and onwards who are being diagnosed, some with family history, some without. So we are still tackling that. But the big thing for us is that we continue at the cancer society to work with the ministry of health to make sure that we have a comprehensive approach to these cancers. We are not there yet, but we are making amazing progress.”


One of the tools used to promote the awareness is a photo, unveiled today through the auspices of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow. A survivor herself, Barrow says that it is a showcase of the success stories of those who have won the fight against cancer and those who are battling with the disease.


Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“Every year we come up with these concepts and we try to see what will make the most impact because of what we are trying to do and we always try to put a face to cancer. And there are so many different faces to cancer. And this particular photo, we really wanted to focus on strength; on the ability to overcome cancer. And it was a great a day in Chaa Creek; it was such a great setting, such a beautiful setting. Our photographer Leo was amazing in getting us in the bushes and having us feel like we are in the jungle and we have to survive. So I think the photo is a powerful photo and it is like a journey—from pain to struggle to triumph. And I just think it really is a powerful photo.”


Tara Morgan is featured in this year’s photo. She was just recently diagnosed as a stage-four patient while Shermadine Rowland is in remission for the past five years. They both say that the support during the fight is very important.


Tara Morgan

Tara Morgan, Stage-4 Breast Cancer Patient

“Honestly, I felt like that was the end of it for me; that was like my death sentence basically. It was hard for me and my family because we didn’t expect that when we came back from the doctor, that would have been the diagnosis of what I was going through. That was just in May of this year so I am actually just starting my battle with cancer. There is minimal medical treatment that could be provided, but like I said with the Grace of God and with good people and family, I mean you can get through basically anything.”


Shermadine Rowland

Shermadine Rowland, Cancer Survivor

“My life had changed completely. I thought about losing my hair; I thought about dying, leaving my kids behind and I just had to gain strength and I had to pull myself together to where I am at today. It was difficult; I mean cancer itself is something difficult to deal with, but my process was a little easy because I had my family and my friends by my side supporting.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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