Tue | Nov 30, 2021

Breast cancer patient pleads for assistance

Published:Friday | October 15, 2021 | 12:05 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Norma Reid of New Longville, Clarendon, contemplates where her next meal will be coming from.
Norma Reid of New Longville, Clarendon, contemplates where her next meal will be coming from.
Norma Reid of New Longville, Clarendon, contemplates where her next meal will be coming from.
Norma Reid of New Longville, Clarendon, contemplates where her next meal will be coming from.
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Norma Reid of New Longville in Clarendon is trying her best to navigate her way through the cruel hand that life has dealt her.

However, she is buckling under the pressure as she fights to stay on top of her circumstances.

Having lost her husband to cancer about four years ago, and also one of her daughters to the dreaded disease, she is now, herself, fighting to survive after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

Reid has already removed the breast and is well into her chemotherapy treatment at Hope Institute. However, she said it is a struggle to find the bus fare to travel to Kingston as she is unemployed and is depending on the goodwill of others who help her from time to time.

There are days, she said, when she goes without a meal as donations are not guaranteed, and when it doesn’t come, she just has to wait until lady luck smiles on her. In the meantime, her only alternative is to “do without an’ relax myself”.

Reid, who lives on leased land in the community where she has erected a one-room board structure, said the yearly lease of $12,000 is coming up and her situation is that much harder, as from the little donation she gets, she is trying to “pinch” something to set aside to make up the money.

“Nobody fi help me, no food, nothing at all. If a person come and give me a $500 mi teck it. Every day I depend on the mercies of others,” she said.

There are days, Reid said, when she reflects on her situation, such as the one The Gleaner found her in, where she had no money to get breakfast, she just gives in and let the tears flow.

Reminiscing on better days, she said life was okay for her when her husband was alive as he was the breadwinner and ensured she had something to eat. Now that he is gone, Reid, who is the mother of eight children – one deceased – said when she approaches some of them for help, she is told that they don’t have it, and as for the others, “dem nuh business wid me, enuh”.

As she looks ahead to a bleak future, Reid said her only hope of getting out of the rut she is in is if someone assists her so that she can start a “buy and sell” business as she is unable to do physical work.

cecelia.livingston@gleanerjm.com