Erin Brown Is a Beacon of Hope to People Living With Disabilities and Cancer

Erin Brown is a woman who has gone through a lot of unpleasantness in her life. She lost her mother to cancer- after five years of the woman’s intense struggle with Lupus disease-and she also saw the death of one of her closest cousins, to cancer again.

As if that was not enough, Erin was also diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer- called osteosarcoma, after she suffered from a fall that resulted in her broken leg.

For Erin, she made the decision to amputate her limb above the knees, after more than a year of chemotherapy and because her tumor showed no signs of shrinking.

In 2021, Erin became the first Bahamian, paratriathlete, and Black woman with a disability,  to become the face of ‘Godmother for Odyssey of the Seas’, for The Royal Caribbean International Ship.

Michael Bayley, the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said, “From the moment we heard Erin’s story, how her courage and determination inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a natural choice for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas.”

Brown is now 41 years old and a mother of two. 

Not only has she lived through her traumatic experience, but she has also moved on to achieve great things, and she has become fully involved in her life’s journey of helping more people.

Brown participated in and completed the 100-mile cycling event in the Bahamas, Ride for Hope, with the aim of raising money for cancer research and awareness. 

For this event, she led a group of adaptive athletes and finished her race to the impressive applause of the crowd.

Brown has since then gone on to become a big advocate for disabled rights. 

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before — you still have them.”

Furthermore, she threw herself into her work at the University of the Bahamas-as the compliance officer and counselor for those living with disabilities.

Now, Brown is the founder of Erin Brown Connects, an internationally recognized firm that fights for disability equity and inclusion.

She has presented to the UN, WHO and PAHO, for her role as International Disability Inclusion Consultant for the Caribbean.

Brown has also created an empowerment program for people facing cancer and living with disability.

“… I saw a need to create a solution and after being ignored for years, to be recognized by such entities, by national leaders, by international organizations and more is truly a testament that people will eventually listen if you continue the fight. It’s not about being known in women’s month, cancer awareness month or disability awareness week because this is my daily life. I do it for those who need to be seen and heard and who don’t have the strength to fight. We matter.”

Brown continues to fight for the inclusion of people living with disabilities, encouraging and giving hope to disabled athletes facing discrimination in one way or another.

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