Mon | Nov 18, 2019

Strength in surviving

Published:Monday | October 14, 2019 | 12:16 AMJessica Harrison - Lifestyle Writer
“I am confident. I think I’m more in love with myself now than I ever was before,” Hygenia Reid
Sister survivors, Nioca Irving-Simpson and Hygenia Reid cradle each other while sharing a laugh.
Surviving together
Nioca Irving-Simpson: I AM BEAUTIFUL.
“With my strength, I will continue to fight,” Nioca Irving-Simpson
“I love my bald head,” Hygenia Reid
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S urvivor: A person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.

If you know anyone who has been tried in the fire of breast cancer and has been coming out pure as gold, showing up for themselves and their families time and time again, then undoubtedly, you know that they have indeed earned this dignified title.

Flair joined hands in combat with two confident women from the Reach To Recovery support group, who have not allowed their scars to define them.

Meet Hygenia Reid, who was diagnosed with breast cancer five months ago, and Nioca Irving-Simpson, who has been going strong for three and a half years. Both women have endured tremendous pain and loss but have found great joy in themselves because of how friends, family and co-workers have rallied around them in their time of need.

For Nioca, who comes from a family where all the women have the cancer gene, she is determined to live her best life. “This does not define me, my mother nor my grandmother. Of course, I’ve been self-conscious, but over time, I’ve grown to love my scars. Showing my scars means helping another woman who may feel some amount of shame, and also to get people accustomed to us. We exist and we are still the same person we were, and even better,” she said with a broad smile.

“At first, I cried, but then I grew to understand that this is not the end of my life. I have fought and will keep fighting. I will continue to spread awareness in any way I can, even if that means brandishing my scars,” said Hygenia.

Survivor affirmations simply force you to believe and see what others see when they behold the divine feminine being that you are: A beautiful, strong, smart and whole woman with battle scars and a boundless story.

 

Say it with us:

I AM BEAUTIFUL

I AM STRONG

I AM SMART

I AM WOMAN

I AM A SURVIVOR

SHOOT CREDITS

Make-up:

Joedian Munroe of Faces by Joe

Instagram: @facesbyjoe

Contact: 876-504-5291/ facesesbyjoe@gmail.com

 

Survivors: Hygenia Reid and Nioca Irving-Simpson

 

Story and creative direction by: Jessica Harrison

jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com

 

Photographer: Ricardo Maykn

ricardo.makyn@gleanerjm.com