Bonus Postcard of The Week: Well Wishes for Kim Simplis Barrow

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Today’s bonus postcard is a special request from me to all of you wonderful readers – to please send all your positive thoughts and vibes to this wonderful lady pictured above as she continues to rebuild her health.

Most of you know how I met First Lady of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The first time was last year during my assignment in Belize with the Belize Tourism Board. You also read about the second photo shoot I was assigned to complete of her while she was still undergoing treatment, for a UK magazine cover and feature this past February on women of strength. The above image is an outtake from our shoot.

Kim was unexpectedly hospitalized this week and in intensive care after some complications from her radiation treatment, but she is now stabilizing. Knowing her true strength of spirit and faith and all the love and support that surrounds her, I know she will be fine and stronger than ever. Still, I am asking if you could please take two minutes out of your day today to send good vibes and thoughts and prayers her way, on my behalf.

Almost a year to the date we first met, Kim has become a friend and like a sister. From looking out for me while I was in Belize last summer, to staying in touch even after I left Belize and even arranging for me to have a place to stay, at her sister’s, for a couple of weeks in Belize City while I returned there last December.

Just earlier this week we were messaging and checking in with each other. She joked that she would soon need a photo shoot since her hair was now growing back. Excited as always to hear of her progress, I threw in that I was always up for a quick trip to Belize and after all, I consider myself Kim Simplis’ official photographer! She laughed and said “yes you are!”

This past year I have seen two good friends battle breast cancer – first Jenny, then Kim – both below the age of 40.  They moved past the initial shock faster than I did, kept their smile and their cheer. Their positivity has baffled and inspired me all at once. They would check in on me, even though they had so much more going on with their lives, including family loss! They may not realize this, but their strength, determination, faith, love and selflessness has shaped my own outlook on life for the better. I am simply not the same after this.

Kim Barrow has a big heart and helps so many in her country, she’s an inspiration.

I can’t wait to update all of you soon with news of our next photo shoot. I know it’s coming. And it’s going to be even more epic.


© Lebawit Girma.  All photographs on this website are Copyright Protected – Full Rights Reserved. No use permitted without authorization.

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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  1. Tarra Stauffer 1 June, 2012 at 6:28 PM #

    Bless Kim and may the power of prayer from everyone’s love lift her up and heal her.

  2. Lola 1 June, 2012 at 7:03 PM #

    Saying prayers for her and her family.

  3. Lebawit Lily Girma 1 June, 2012 at 7:11 PM #

    Thanks so much Tarra & Lola! I know every single prayer helps. This could literally be any one of us. One Love.

  4. Yaffa 1 June, 2012 at 7:54 PM #

    This is so touching Lily. I had tears in my eyes. Finding out that you have cancer is an extremely scary and shocking thing, especially so for Kim. She has been working with women and children way before this dreaded disease hit her.

    Kim is such a strong and courageous woman. She is hitting some bumps right now, but will overcome all obstacles at the end of the road.

  5. Lebawit Lily Girma 1 June, 2012 at 8:08 PM #

    Linda, thank you for reading and sharing. I can only imagine how scary it must be – I have tried to put myself in my friend Jenny’s shoes, and later Kim’s and I simply cannot. I can only stand by and pray daily, support and cheer them on and even then it does not seem enough. But I know that their courage and positive spirit has inspired me and I have been affected by their experiences forever, and in a good way, in a great, humbling way.

    Kim has always looked out for me – even with all she had going on she took the time to make sure I was OK when I was in her country, and if anything was wrong she wouldn’t have it! SHe would want to fix it right away. That, has no price. She took me in like family.

    I too know she will overcome all!! We will keep praying and traveling this road with her!

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