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Barbara Hillary: The First Black Female to Reach the North and South Poles

She survived lung cancer and lost 25% of her breathing capacity. She was the first black female to reach both the North and South Poles. And at 87 she is planning her next adventure.

In American Voices, I wrote short stories about ordinary and extraordinary people. Here, I have elaborated in similar vein about another inspirational woman. I originally stumbled on to her site in 2013, but I see that she is still going strong and has inspired others. Here, then is a snapshot of Barbara Hillary.

Lung cancer survivor, Barbary Hillary, decided to defy the odds and undertook these arduous Arctic journeys in 2007 and 2011. Barbara's preparations and trip to the North Pole were vividly recounted in a 2007 USA Today article and on her site. Successfully crossing the same regions as the polar adventurers, Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton, placed the retired African-American woman in a league of legendary adventurers. Her tenacity in the face of medical challenges and age can serve as an inspiration to everyone.

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