March 5, 2024



Cancer took their mother

….so the Brittons worked to ensure her labour was not in vain

By Solomon McGarrell

Shanaz Britton

Day and night, Murytlene James, a mother of seven, laboured tirelessly to provide for her children’s educational, health, and financial needs, but just when she began to witness the fruits of her labour, death came knocking at her door on November 13, 2013.

 With only two years remaining before Shanaz Britton, the sixth of the seven children, graduated from Nursing School, her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, and later died in 2013.

 Life for Britton became increasingly challenging. “During my second year when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I had to be back and forth from hospital to school. It was rough; I failed a few classes but I had to pick myself up and be strong, reminiscing on my mother’s sacrifices, she wouldn’t want me to fail,” Britton told INFO 10.

With time, the 27-year-old has been able to cope with the harsh reality of losing a loved one. In 2015, she graduated from the Charles Rosa School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse.


Life growing up for Britton was difficult but she was contented and appreciative of the sacrifices her mother made to ensure food was on the table and that they all received an education.

James constantly encouraged her children to put all their efforts into their education since no one can grab that from them.

“It wasn’t easy at all but wasn’t that bad since our mother made sure we have our necessities and everything needed for our education. There was a financial crisis, but we made it at the skillful hands of our mother who did fabric painting, knitted chair backs and tie-dying and assistance from family and friends,” Britton recollected.

Britton, who holds her mother on a pedestal, doesn’t think she could have been successful if her mother had departed this life earlier, and for that, she gives praise to God for keeping her mother until the right time. “With everything we have achieved, we couldn’t have done it without our mother,” the Registered Nurse said.

 While holding back the tears from trickling down her face, Britton took INFO 10 down memory lane. “The hardest part in life was spending the last few moments with my mother seeing her take her [last] draw of breath. She told us she could not bear the pain anymore and if we love her, we would let her go,” Britton recalled.

In 2017, Sheneza Britton, the fifth child graduated from the University of Guyana with an Associate Degree in Health Science and is now employed with the Ministry of Health as a Medex.

 Britton would like to encourage youths to cherish their mothers and make the best out of the situation they are in. “Anything is possible with God’s help, I can speak from experience and no situation is permanent. I would also like to urge you to be self-motivated and disciplined,” she said.