Jimmy and and Elizabeth Belbontin have been together for 42 years. They have supported each other no matter what during that time, and when Elizabeth was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, this would be no different for the couple.
Throughout her treatment, Elizabeth has held an unwavering positivity; her mental fortitude has absolutely stunned and amazed Jimmy — he couldn’t be more proud to call Elizabeth his wife.
“I wanted to do what I could to support her — I wanted to take the journey with her,” Jimmy said.
As a sign of respect and support, when Elizabeth decided to shave her head, Jimmy would follow suit with her.
“I decided to keep it as a sort of surprise, keeping it from her until the moment we arrived at the hairdressers. When we arrived, I revealed what I planned to do, and we laughed and beamed with joy together.”
Such a simple act from Jimmy, was enough to bring his wife to tears, and further show her that he and all their family and friends were with her every step of the way. “Removing the stigma behind cancer, that is something I wish moments like this will accomplish,” said Jimmy, hopeing small acts like his one could open people up to talking.
“If people talk about it, people will be more comfortable approaching people about cancer.”
While Elizabeth was in hospital, she was on a ward with a 12 year old girl who was undergoing treatment for cancer. Jimmy told of one particular day on the ward, when the young girl’s friends all arrived into the ward with their heads completely shaved, much like what Jimmy had done.
“She was absolutely blown away by. No longer embarrassed, she took her cap off and her and the friends had a great laugh about it. They rubbed each others heads and embraced each other; the kind act the girls for their friend brought her a revived happiness and comfort.”
Jimmy wants to highlight how important support from family and friends is during cancer treatment. He said “If people talk about it and try to understand it better, the stigma will be completely removed and people will be more comfortable to approach discussions about cancer.
“The more people that support and talk, it will make it an easier time for people.”
Elizabeth and Jimmy would like to thank the support of all their family and friends throughout the last year, and the amazing work of the Wicklow Cancer Support.
Wicklow Cancer Support aim to provide emotional and practical support to people who had and who have cancer, their families and friends.
Call them on 0404 32696, or for more info check out their Facebook page.