HSA Welcomes New Survivor Wall

Pictured above, from left, Dave O’Driscoll, Shorline Blanchard, Meishka Zuill, and Elna Bush join Governor Jane Owen and Lizzette Yearwood in celebrating a new symbol of hope for those with cancer.


When patients facing the daunting treatment of cancer enter the main Cayman Islands Hospital hallway, they will now be greeted by the smiling faces of 132 fellow community members who survived the disease.

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society and Health Services Authority unveiled a new survivor wall on Friday, 22 March, 2024.

Cancer Society operations manager Dave O’Driscoll explained that the original survivor wall went up in the 2010s but had to be moved from the atrium during recent renovations at the hospital. The society took the opportunity to provide updated portraits for a new celebratory purple-themed display.

“This wall is not just a collection of names and faces,” O’Driscoll stressed. “It’s the story of a community, and how they continue to unite and rise together.”

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said the faces of the survivors bring hope, and she would like to see the wall also help inspire the families and friends of those currently battling cancer.

Barbara Llewellyn, one of the survivors pictured on the wall, told the Compass she is proud to be one of the faces encouraging people in their fight.

She said she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015, and in 2022, she received a bone marrow transplant. In July of last year, she was declared to be in remission.

“It means a whole lot to me to be a fighter,” she said. “It was a tough task, but I fight it right through.”

Llewellyn encouraged those who are first receiving their diagnosis to think about what lies ahead, take it one day at a time, and speak openly with those offering support.

She remembers how she fretted upon hearing she had cancer, concerned about the worst possible outcomes. But she has done her best to live stress free, investing her time in reading, crosswords and prayer.

As she went through treatment, Llewellyn received support from the Cancer Society, and she said it means the world to her to be able to give back, to be a face for hope.

O’Driscoll reminded the public that the society’s office is located just across the parking lot from the hospital, and the organisation is prepared to offer emotional support and resources for patients and caregivers.

“As some point in your cancer diagnosis, you will walk down this hall, and you can feel dejected and lost, not knowing what the outcome will be,” he said. “I think knowing so many people have survived and come out the other side smiling, will reinvigorate the strength you have in yourself.”