Possessing dry-eyed humor and always ready to “give it to you straight” are just a few of the personality traits of Cancer survivor and Hawksbill High School Class of 1987 Thea Forbes, which make her both lovable and a cherished friend.
Zeth Seneter Francis, Founder of S.M.I.L.E (Showing More Ideal Love Everyday) Organization and fellow Hawksbill High School graduate recently noted that she was saddened to learn that Forbes, who is a dear, childhood friend was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer nearly one year ago.
Having lost two family members to cancer, Francis revealed she immediately sought to assist Forbes, a hardworking single mother of three and grandmother, in receiving the necessary financial aid to undergo life-saving treatment.
“Definitely, to know Thea is to love her and once I learned that she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I reached out to Hawksbill High School Class of 1987 Alumni and networked with various civic and corporate entities all in an effort to help her in the fight against this disease.
“Experiencing the loss of my sister last year and another family member to cancer, myself I knew both time and financial assistance was of the essence for Thea.
“Personally, I contacted several business and civic organizations as well as fellow classmates soliciting help, as Thea not only had to undergo Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments but also had to have a mastectomy.
“By divine fate I learned about the Warrior and Little Warrior Campaign founded by Davina Rutherford, which not only assists with raising cancer awareness and education throughout the Grand Bahama community but also helps to raise funds for cancer treatment.
“Contacting Ms. Rutherford without delay, I made her abreast of Thea’s situation and asked her to help; immediately, she partnered with my non-profit organization S.M.I.L.E to raise funds to defray treatment cost, which stands at $13,000.00,” said Francis.
Setting up a ‘Thea Forbes Medical Treatment Account’ at First Caribbean Bank (Acct.#201665227), Francis posted all relevant information on Facebook and Instagram, which she noted has already begun to receive a good response.
Additionally, Francis thanked Rutherford, who also donated much-needed funds through the Warrior Campaign and encouraged others to join the fight against cancer in all its forms.
Elated to assist, Rutherford noted that both the Warrior Campaign and Little Warrior Campaign seeks to heighten community awareness and education in the cancer fight for adults and children alike as well as to galvanize support financially and emotionally for persons living with any form of the disease.
“Cancer affects all, whether directly or indirectly, hence we all must partner to assist those faced with combating this illness.
“Men, women and children should also ensure that they go for their annual visit to their physician, as well as take advantage of the free health screening clinics made available to the public, courtesy of organizations like the Cancer Society of Grand Bahama, Us Too Prostate Cancer and Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Groups and The Hope Society.
“Additionally, striving to maintain a healthy well-balanced lifestyle is also essential and now more than ever, I am determined to learn as much as I can and work along with Ms. Rutherford through my S.M.I.L.E Organization to boost the efforts of the both the Warrior Campaign and Little Warrior Campaign.
“My friend of over 30 years, discovered her cancer at Stage 3 and ironically, she has no family history of cancer, but she knew something was wrong and did not wait to seek help.
“Indeed I am grateful to all companies, corporations, philanthropic persons, Hawksbill High School Class of 1987, Ms. Rutherford, family members, friends and co- workers of Thea for reaching out to help.
“I encourage others to follow suit and let us all band together to help her and others like her to receive the treatment, financial, physical and emotional assistance she and her family needs as well as others battling a similar fight, as we ought to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper,” declared Francis, who could not thank everyone enough.