May she RIP!
Most of us spend our lives dreaming of taking upon great adventures but there was a woman amongst us who did it. Barbara Hillary, on April 23, 2007, had become the first black woman to reach the North Pole, at the grand age of 75. But that wasn't it. At the age of 79, she took another trip, this time towards the Southern extreme of the world and reached the South Pole at the age of 79.
By doing so, she became the first Black woman in history to have been at both the world's ends. She was born and lived in New York and had earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees from the New School. Following her graduation, she had worked as a nurse before retiring. She was a nurse for 55 years.
Her life was one of sheer will and perseverance. As reported by Smithsonianmag, she had her first fight with breast cancer while she was in her 20s. She beat that. Then a second fight with cancer, lung cancer, occurred when she was in her 60s. She beat that too but lost 25% of her breathing capacity. But this did not deter her from the adventures she dreamed of. She conquered the poles in her late 70s and lived long enough to cherish her accomplishments and spread her optimism.
Barbara, unfortunately, passed away after a long period of sickness at the age of 88. May she rest in peace!