Monday, 14 May 2012
Monday, 30 April 2012
Monday, 26 March 2012
Finally... Internet access !!!! OK ... we have arrived safely, the weather is amazing and we are loving Florida... Shania will start her treatment on the 10th April ... But until then we will be hitting the beaches and enjoying the fantastic weather xxxx
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Today was international women's day which I celebrated at The City of Islington college in Finsbury Park, it was an amazing event filled with dancing,singing and inspirational speeches. I would like to thank the Staff & pupils for all the fund raising which took place at this event to help towards the Shania Florida Fund.
I am proud to say that I am part of college it was an emotional day.
I am proud to say that I am part of college it was an emotional day.
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Thank you to everyone that has contributed over the past 4 weeks to ensure we raise £15k.... we have received an amazing response from our local community, friends, schools, family ect ect.. the list goes on.
Keep logging in to Shania Florida fund, while we are in the USA we will keep this page updated with Shania's progress with her treatment.
Friday, 2 March 2012
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Monday, 13 February 2012
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Monday, 30 January 2012
Dedicated to Shania from her Aunt Frenchesca James.
I know that I am not the only person who is an aunt and I also know that I am not the only person who's family has been affected by cancer, when the news is broken to you that a loved one has this illness its cuts so deeply you don't know what’s hit you, and how its puts life into perspective more than you could ever know.
So you hear me talking about my niece and I'll keep talking to the point that you'll be rolling your eyes (I hope not) but to say that this child is special doesn't even explain it. Shania is my brother's first child, it’s funny I remember my brother telling my mum that he was going to have a child when he was 21 and sure enough Ondre and Sharon did just that. Shania was the most beautiful child there ever was, with these piercing gorgeous eyes and skin colour which stem from her ethnic mix of Caribbean/Irish and Indian. Always a happy baby with a good appetite to boot, we were all in awe of her! Growing up she was a joy to watch and I loved having her come and visit, no matter where you went with her people commented how beautiful she was. Shania has grown into a graceful, elegant young lady loved sports and played on the school team, did ballet and other activities, and loves clothes and bags and shoes like any girl her age does, and she is a very sensible older sister to her younger siblings, telling them off when they are naughty, she still comes to visit when she's not in hospital with her brother and sister and its lovely having them at my house as we can all try and be normal and treat her like a normal child, although when she comes to see me the sensible bit goes out the window as we share the same filthy laugh which I love to hear.
Shania had been suffering for months with pain in her back and her legs, sometimes she couldn't walk, she was loosing weight, had gone off her food and just didn't look well at all, trips to the doctors and then being referred to the hospital still to be fobbed off with 'its growing pains' or some other reason, I remember going to the hospital with my brother and Shania once and almost screaming at the doctor 'why haven't you done an MRI scan!'
I'd been out with my mum the day we got the news and my mum was skirting around the information she was giving me, I remember grabbing mum by her shoulders in the street and shouting at her to stop being so naive, we both ended up crying, it was dawning on me it was like de ja vu where in my job as a Play Specialist I had seen this type of thing before, a child admitted with joint pain and then once investigated it turned out to be bad news, I think I was in denial because she was my niece, it came in waves of reality and not reality, was this really happening and why her!.
My mum broke the news to me about Shania being ill later that same day, I screamed no over and over again down the phone, I was physically sick after that phone call and I would never want to relive that ever again. In my work I work with really sick children, I become emotionally attached to some of the patients and its hard seeing them ill and I am known at work for crying when they get better and go home , but nothing prepared me for this. I cried for a week and was angry that this beautiful little girl who meant so much to me had been struck with this thing, I didn't even want to say the word cancer, I don't even know who I was angry at and to make matters worse it was rare type of cancer, to be honest there's so much talking or having family meetings you can have but it doesn't take it away. Its surreal like it’s happening to someone else or that you're watching a film. I wish sometimes that I could take it away from her and have it myself, take away any hurt or pain from her. I worried that she wouldn't cope with the treatment, how she would feel about losing her hair, you know she turned 12 just after she was diagnosed, what an awful start to her teenage years. It was hard at first we didn't want to let her see us cry or hear us speak about her illness but she's not silly she dealt with the news better than us adults.
The treatment is harsh, there have been times when she is in so much pain its awful to see, when she couldn't walk, or go to the toilet, there are times when she has blisters in her mouth and she can't eat, there are other symptoms that I won't go into to spare her dignity, her hair which was all the way down her back fell out, and her aunt Kerrie shaved hers to support Shania and raise money, (its funny how much more alike they look now).
What I want to say is that she never complains, she is looking this cancer in the eye and coping with it, no matter what they do to her medically she takes it, she is showing courage and maturity beyond her years which lifts us up. She is the most well spoken, sweet natured little girl there ever was which makes her even more beautiful and not only is she beautiful she's clever and smart too and has a fighting spirit which I know makes her want to beat this even more.
We were driving home from the hospital some weeks ago and we drove through an area that had lots of wedding dress shops and she said she wanted to help me choose my wedding dress and come wedding dress shopping with me, and that she wanted to be a bridesmaid, I want her to get her life back so she can do this with me, I can't explain how much love I have for her and I hope that this amazing treatment will heal her and make her better.
I commend my brother and Sharon for dealing with this the best way they can and all the efforts of family members and friends who are supporting however they can, you are all diamonds you really are.
By Aunty Chess
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Shania is a beautiful, admirable and determined 12 year old girl. She recently performed 'top of her class' in her SATs and has an avid passion for netball and football, playing on both teams for her school. Shania is very bright, friendly, charismatic and has high ambitions to become a fashion designer. Unexpectedly, a swelling appeared on Shania's leg and the pain spread throughout Shania's legs, hips and pelvis area. After approximately 3 months and following various x-rays, consultations and finally an MRI identified that Shania was suffering from a rare form of cancer - Spindell Cell Sarcoma. By the time the cancer had been diagnosed, Shania had at this point lost the use of her legs and was in a wheelchair. Advice relating to the option of surgery was such that the family felt that the risks outweighed the possibility of success and would leave this vibrant and active young girl with a very limited lifestyle and years of pain and complications. Shania began chemotherapy in August 2011 and after a number of cycles, months of pain and discomfort, time in hospital away from her family and friends, the loss of weight and her hair, it has recently been confirmed that Shania has been accepted for a proton therapy programme in the USA. This will mean three months away from home and Shania's two sisters and one brother, but could mean that the tumour can be removed and that Shania's prognosis would be much improved. It is hoped that this will take place within the next 6-8 weeks. We are asking for support from friends, family and anyone who would like to contribute a) to a fund to help support the day to day living expenses which are not covered by the programme b) any additional funds will be donated to MacMillan Cancer Research. Shania's aunt recently raised £2000 for MacMillan via shaving her head and a 5k run and the family are organising a Masquerade Ball. If you have, or know anyone who has something worthwhile to be donated for auction, there will be a celebrity auction/raffle as part of the event. The Ball will be held on: Saturday 25th February 2012 at The Hertfordshire Broxbournebury Mansion White Stubbs Lane Broxbourne Herts EN10 7PY Dinner & Dance £35 - 3 course meal - Coffee/Tea & Mints Dance Only £20 Attire Men - Suits & tuxedos Attire Ladies- Ball & cocktail dress's