Meet Paula Chester-Cumberbatch-Rastafarian, Leader and Cancer Survivor

While growing up in Trinidad, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch identified and admired certain traits in her grandmother – a village midwife and farmer who struggled to raise her four children.

“My grandmother (Fredericka Cruickshank) was the matriarch in our family; she was a very strong woman,” said Cumberbatch. “Growing with my grandmother and listening to some of her challenges has always been my inspiration.”

Cumberbatch also indicated that her father – now a retired principal and supervisor of schools – groomed her adequately for life’s rigours.

But nothing could have prepared the highly affable Trinidad native for the news that rattled her resolve. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 40.

“I was feeling a pain in my breast for many years since the age of about 34, and I remember going to a doctor, and the doctor said ‘Oh Paula you can rule out cancer – cancer causes no pain’. Thankfully, at the age of 40, I went for my first formal mammogram and that was when cancer was diagnosed.”

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