PMís Wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow, Has CancerTonight, The Prime Minister's wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow is in A Miami hospital conducting tests to determine what stage of breast cancer she has.
The 39 year old was clinically diagnosed in Belize last week with doctors saying that it had the clinical appearance of stage two breast cancer.
A biopsy rushed to the United States confirmed on Wednesday that it is cancer.
Arrangements were immediately made for an "as-soon-as-possible" referral to a specialist facility in Miami. That was set up for, today, Monday and showing extraordinary even-temperedness - she finished up some political business - endorsing Chandra Cansino - and then left for the United States on Sunday with Prime Minister Barrow.
The couple went for a battery of tests this morning and the news coming out of that is that, from what they have seen so far, the Miami doctors suspect that it may be stage three cancer and suggests it is an advanced case.
We understand that imaging tests are now being done to detect if the cancer has spread and to confirm the staging.
It is expected that Simplis-Barrow will have to receive chemotherapy treatment and a statement issued today says that she hopes to be back home by Christmas.
The full release from the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and children says, quote,
"Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow left the country on Sunday to seek urgent medical attentionÖ.The Office confirms that Mrs. Barrow has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be starting treatment as soon as the most viable treatment option has been determined. The treatment is not available in Belize."
It adds that, "as an official advocate for women and children and someone who has always been supportive of the fight against cancer, Mrs. Barrow thought it important not to conceal her diagnosis from the public."
And indeed, exactly a month ago - before she was diagnosed -Simplis Barrow addressed the Cancer Society in Belize City and spoke about receiving the grim moment of receiving a cancer diagnosis, not knowing then that within three weeks, she would be hearing the same thing:..
Kim Simplis Barrow
"When I hear the word cancer it is not numbers or a percentage which comes to mind, rather it is the faces of those on a daily basis fight this dreadful disease. I see for example the face of my nephew, an 18 year old boy whose entire life came to a standstill upon his diagnosis. Today I am happy to say that he has join the ranks of many courageous cancer survivors and his life is once again in forward motion. However the joy of his successful battle is tempered by sadness at the memory of another friend of mine who did not survive her fight. These are the closest experiences I've ever had with cancer, but from them I can say that the power to fight this disease comes from the heart and soul but most of all it comes from being able to envision a day when you are cancer free."
"Ladies and gentlemen we all know that cancer does not discriminate. It does not care if you are young or if you are old or if you are black or if you are white, if you are rich or if you are poor. I as well as you know all too well about the lives are shattered and the families devastated by these 3 words; you have cancer. We all know about some of the happy endings but we know all too well about the sad ones. Do you believe we can change that? I do. Let's make sure our mother's, father's, uncle's, aunt's, brother's, sister's, our children, everyone get screen. It can potentially save a life."
Again, that speech was from Friday October seventh of this year.
And that's where it is tonight - Mrs. Barrow and the PM are in Miami and bracing themselves for difficult days ahead. A statement from the Prime Minister's office says he is scheduled to return to Belize on Monday, 14th November. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega is acting Prime Minister until then.
The statement from her office, says that she appreciates the solidarity and prayers of all well-wishers.
Kim Barrow is the mother of one child - and as we mentioned at the top of the story, she is 39.
We'll keep following the story very closely.