A Story of Perseverance: Karisha Gallimore


Karisha Gallimore is the 2019 recipient of the MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law $5,000 Perseverance Scholarship.

This scholarship is intended to recognize and celebrate students who have persevered in the face of obstacles, and to pay tribute to our many strong clients who must persevere with injury and disability through the legal process.


Karisha was born and raised in Jamaica. After completing high school, Karisha came to Canada to work on strawberry fields outside Truro, Nova Scotia as part of a foreign workers program. During this time, she sent money home to her family in Jamaica, while trying to save for her own education.

After several years of working in the fields, Karisha saved enough money to apply to the Criminal Justice Program at the Nova Scotia Community College in Truro. With limited support, she learned how to enroll as an international student in Canada, navigating study permits and school applications.

“Growing up in Jamaica, you don’t get really that much assistance,” Karisha said. “You’ve gotta push and help yourself.”

Karisha was accepted into the Criminal Justice Program, and she excelled in her classes.

Vicki MacKinnon, Academic Chair of NSCC Truro, describes Karisha as someone who “asked very thoughtful questions, and you could just tell by the way that she carried herself that she was very serious about her education.”

In January 2018, in the midst of her program, Karisha learned that she had Stage IV stomach cancer. 

Karisha said, “I was at the prime. I was getting things done. I had just passed my COPAT, the physical aspect of the police officer test…I was feeling really good.”

In May 2018, Karisha’s oncologist told her that she only had weeks to live.

Weeks passed, however, and her health started to improve. She continued to improve, and in the Fall of 2018 Karisha re-enrolled at NSCC to complete the remainder of her first year. During that fall semester, Karisha underwent rounds of chemotherapy, worked a part-time job, and excelled academically.

As Vicki MacKinnon describes, “the positivity exudes from every pore of her being.”

In June 2019, Karisha was chosen as the first recipient of the MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law $5,000 Perseverance Scholarship. The scholarship was intended to be used toward her next semester of school.

In July 2019, Karisha’s cancer began advancing aggressively. She passed away on July 16, 2019. The scholarship funds will be used to help bring Karisha’s body back to Jamaica to rest, surrounded by her loving family and friends.

MacGillivray Law thanks Karisha’s friend, Stacey Dlamini, for nominating her for the scholarship, as well as New Brooklyn Media for capturing Karisha’s story on film.