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Broken Wings: Marcia Skervin learns to soar after cancer

Published:Thursday | July 18, 2019 | 12:16 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Marcia Skervin
Marcia Skervin

Human resource consultant and transformational speaker, Marcia Skervin, is all about empowering others to live their best lives.

Through her company, Connect Your Dots, she mentors, motivates and does life coaching and stress-management talks in corporate companies and through schools.

There was a time in Skervin’s life, however, when she needed all the motivation she could get as she faced the news that she had cancer.

After receiving the news she recalls feeling nothing but numbness.

“I had to struggle with getting my mind ready to fight. If I allowed my first instinct to overrun my current situation, I would be crying even now and not make a single decision,” said Skervin, who did a bilateral mastectomy and a native tissue reconstruction surgery. She said the question of life kept coming up constantly.

“I believe most cancer patients struggle with themselves and the immediate negative thoughts that keep coming into the space,” said Skervin.

After getting the biopsy report with the ‘Big C’ introduced into the conversation, she said she was devastated as she thought about her three children and how she would get through the journey for them.

“I had to go back to what I knew to be true, my faith. I revisited my commitment to God. I looked at all the reasons I had before that seemed plausible at the time why I couldn’t commit, now I am faced with this struggle, whose report will I trust? I decided to trust the true reports of the doctors, but I also decided that the truth report is God knew this day long before I even imagined,” she said, adding that it gave her the courage and determination like no other to win. A lifestyle change followed and with it, the promotion of her book Broken Wings – Learning to Soar After Cancer.

Skervin said her battle with cancer taught her a valuable lesson, and it’s that she was never in control of her life and that she is exactly where she is supposed to be at a particular time.

“Any near-death experience or valley experience, as I called them, will immediately bring the mind into sharp focus. The experience taught me to be patient and start listening to my own soul more and by that I meant, I start appreciating myself more, and applaud my own growth,” she told The Gleaner, pointing out one of life’s lessons about working in silence and someone else will praise you. Skervin said too many times persons are too hard on themselves and really need to take better care.

“The experience taught me I had much to say. I am always having speaking engagements to deal with motivation both locally and internationally, and after the experience I immediately put a story to share with others that might be going through a similar experience,” she said.

Skervin founded, in honour of her brother who lost his battle to cancer in 2011, The Ronald Skervin Foundation, a non-profit which specialises in cancer support services both for patients, families and friends locally and in the United Kingdom (UK).

“Cancer is a big business, and this is no joke. The simple things sometimes we take for granted, for example, a ride to get your chemo visits or someone to be there when you have more tests to run and doctors to see. There can never be enough support for cancer patients whether it is mentally, physically, financially and otherwise,” she said, stating that the strains it places on families must be looked at in a wholesome manner.

Skervin said her experiences as a human resource manager at BH Paints, and also her experiences as a behaviour and life coach have positioned her to ensure the support the foundation will be offering will be wholesome and beneficial.

Skervin, who hails from St Catherine, is a past student of Excelsior High School, the Stony Hill HEART Academy, The University College of the Caribbean, Edexcel/RDI UK, and University of Sunderland, UK.