Breast Cancer awareness should not stop when October ends
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I DECIDED to take a few days off to recharge after launching Men Across Borders and my virtual programmes on Teachable and Mastermind.com. I had an amazing zoom meeting before leaving with the Women Across Borders co-authors and they are fired up for their launch in November.

Going to the countryside always replenishes my energy and reminds me of how important the simple exercises of inhaling and exhaling are. I think about the many lives and applaud the contribution of people like my dad.
I was excited to visit the Abary Conservancy because the water calms me. I selected white shorts and the pink t-shirt I wore for the breast cancer walk last October. I joined the march for many who died from cancer but in particular, for my aunt Avis Gibson who had died a few years prior. I got very emotional because I thought about my aunt Corin, who is now fighting to win breast cancer. She was such a beautiful and positive inspiration for me growing up. I inherited a lot of my sense of fashion from her. I touched the pink t-shirt and thought about the many lives that had succumbed to cancer and about how it affected their immediate relatives.

My cousin Clemmy is still trying to cope after all these years. I went down memory lane and reminisced about those years when my aunt Corin would give me outfits from her closet and I was excited to alter them to fit me because they were so beautiful. I often counted her shoes and most times they were over 20 pairs. She is one of the most fashionable women I know and family meant everything to her. Unfortunately, she had an amputation a few years ago but it did not stop the ultimate “fashionista.”

She is going through chemo and the treatment had no mercy on that beautiful head of hair she had. I admire that even through the pain she still tries to be positive. “I will overcome. I will beat this! God has a plan for my life and I am not done on earth yet.”
Imagine having already made all your wedding plans and now just counting down your days to wear that beautiful dress and this happened!

Her faith is strengthening my faith and I am convinced that in any illness your mindset helps your recovery. Not everyone has the strength to do that, but I encourage anyone no matter what, keep the mindset positive because the main battle is in the mind. Travelling up the conservancy was so peaceful, I felt so relaxed. My mind drifted to things happening in my country and around the world. As Helen Keller said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Although there are bad things happening, so too are many good things happening.

My foundation recently honoured some amazing people from the indigenous community who have contributed to society. Persons such as 83-year-old Gibson Caesar, who was born in Waramadong and served in many communities. He was also the recipient of a National Award– the Medal of Service. Ovid Williams who was the first indigenous pilot in Guyana. Benita Roberts who is co-coordinator of the Makushi Research Unit and a stalwart in the preservation of the Makushi culture.

Paulette Allicock is a teacher of traditional knowledge experiences and has hosted many students, including international students who learnt about indigenous farming, meals preps, cassava farine making etc. My late foster dad Allan John was also acknowledged for his contribution as a boat captain and the difference he has made in the lives of many. You probably noticed that these names may not be well known, but they are serving. Which reminds me of my favourite quote by Martin Luther King? “Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be great because greatness is determined by service.” That is how you leave a legacy people will never forget.

My aunt Corin always served and is still doing so, even though she is going through her challenges. I encourage us all to do whatever we can to help someone else because you never know when it will be your turn.

May we all continue the awareness long after October has passed and try to make positive impressions on other peoples’ lives as we continue this beautiful journey called life BEYOND THE RUNWAY.

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