Medical Equipment & Family time with her children

Hi everyone, I am Maddie. Shellie is an incredible friend of mine that I have the honour of saying we have been best friends and sisters for almost 20 years. She has the biggest heart ever and deserves only the best. I want to raise money for equipment she so desperately needs to be able to use a wheelchair I.e stands attached for drips, bagsto hold medications, oxygen cylinder holder etc. I would also like to send Shellie away for a weekend or a day out with her 2 beautiful sons. Kaedanand Shae are always by her side and go through so much too. They struggle but they stay strong for their mummy. At almost 9 and almost 14, they’ve dealt with this their entire lives and all they ever see is their mummy inside the house poorly or in hospital poorly. They deserve a break. ❤️

This is her story in her words.

On the 9th of January 2007, I was an 18-year-old young mum, who should have been preparing for my eldest son's 1st birthday (27th Jan). Instead, I was sat in a hospital bed after 2 years of migraines daily, collapsing, passing out, seizures, and falling over often. I sat in that hospital bed terrified, I hadn’t ever been diagnosed with epilepsy so the seizures and fits were what worried me the most. All the other symptoms I would make excuses for like, “pregnancy hormones”, “family history of migraines” etc. That’s why it took two years for me to be nagged by my mum into going to the doctors. Late that night I had just said goodbye to my mum who was working in the hospital at the time. When a neurologist came to see me. He broke the news that I had brain tumors. 1 fair-sized one called an ATRTs (I still to this day don’t know exactly what it is. I also had 3 chondrosarcoma’s which I know are bone cancer. They weren’t sure how I had it in my brain though. When he told me this he also said the chondrosarcomas (possibly the ATRTs too) had been there for at least 8-10 years as it has calcification on it. My instant response was “well give me a couple of Calgon and send me home” (for anyone who doesn’t know, Calgon is something you put in washing machines to break down calcium/limescale deposits). I called my mum and asked her to come back to my ward. She was furious as it said on my notes that I have bipolar and not to tell me anything whilst on my own. I was given a prognosis of 12-16 weeks. However, being stubborn I beat that and even threw a 1st birthday party for my kaedan in the hospital ward!

When I beat my first prognosis my neurologists and oncologists were shocked. Chemotherapy I was told would not affect the tumors so instead, I had surgery. I was very poorly after all of my surgeries and had made a habit of “dying” on the operating table. They would manage to remove small parts of the tumor but it would grow back meaning another operation was needed. I’ve also had a treatment called cyberknife, it’s only available at Harley street. I’m currently having chemo for the Hodgkin lymphoma. On the 27th of November 2010, I gave birth to my youngest little man, Shae. The growth hormones from the pregnancy may have caused growth in the tumors but they can’t be sure.

Since the diagnosis of my first two types of cancer (they’re not sure which of the two is the primary one), I’ve been diagnosed with 10 more types. Where it has spread down my spinal cord, throat etc. The 12th being diagnosed just the other day. Hodgkin lymphoma. I’ve also had 15 more prognoses! The worst one for me emotionally has been my throat, I used to sing to my boys now I can no longer do so but luckily I have recordings that they like listening to. Today, due to all the damage and bruising done to my brain and due to my body being so weak I’m unable to stand very well. I had a wheelchair that helped me get out of the house with my family and of course, helped me get around the house. I took part in a 5km Cancer Research race for life, my mum pushed my wheelchair, my boys held my hands and they even held my hands as I walked 11 steps across the finish line. It was excruciating but I pray that the pain I felt will save someone’s life one day. Shortly after this, my wheelchair broke. At first, I felt relief because it meant I didn’t need to go out and face the world, where some people can say nasty things! Having body dysmorphia and gaining so much weight from steroids etc hinders life, but then I thought “my boys need me to make memories with them!” Being in hospital for more than 6 weeks means they stop my benefits because I have ‘no cost of living’... Despite still having bills and children. The hospital will not allow me home until I have a new wheelchair. They say I will be left sat in my bed all day every day without one. My dreams may sound pathetic but they’re so special to me... I want to sit outside and watch the fireworks with my boys. I want to watch the Santa parade with them. And last but certainly not least, I want to be able to pick Shae up from school, even just once. His school is about a quarter of a mile away along one straight road but right now I can’t do it.

About 5 years ago I was in a hospice and was told to be prepared to say goodbye. In the time I had between that advice and my family arriving to say goodbye, I made a video on YouTube for my boys so that when they grew up they could know why mummy was always so poorly. It tells my story up until that point. The strength I receive from others' support is immense and keeps me going from day to day. I love you all dearly and do not know the words to express my gratitude to all of you! Shellie-Ann Xxxx

Last year Shellie - despite being terminally ill herself- took part in a 5K race for life for cancer research & Brain Tumour research. She was terrified of taking part as she knew that this would be physically draining & excruciatingly painful for her. Nevertheless she put on her beautiful smile, her blow-up unicorn outfit, joined by her beautiful sons & mother & climbed into her wheelchair ready to be pushed around the course.

Sitting up is painful for Shellie, but she managed the entirety of the course without complaining once, she even got up from her chair close to the finish line, took hold of her boys hands, & held up by her mother she managed 11 steps across the finish line! She raised £630 in total for the two charities. However the following week, when she went to use her chair again it broke, leaving her bedbound.

The reason I want to raise funds for her is because,she has amazing friends who have helped raise money for a new chair. The equipment needed for the chair to be suitable for Shellie to use is expensive. She has been in hospital for a long time and sadly in the U.K. if you are in hospital for 6 weeks or morethey stop your benefits because they say you have no cost of living. Shellie’s family are currently paying her household bills & looking after her children.

She recently had surgery, once again beating the odds given to her. When she is well enough to leave hospital it will take 3-4 months to have her benefits reinstated. So she will be without an income for that long. I’d like to help her through this time and relieve some of the worry for her.

Speaking to others they’ve said it would be amazing if we could send Shellie and her boys away for a couple of days or out for an incredible day with her little family. Above is a very short summary of her life the past 13 years, but it doesn’t show the pain and struggle each day. Please find it in your heart to help.

Below are photos of moments in Shellie’s life the past few years. 

No amount is too small. ❤️

Kindest regards.

Maddie. ❤️

Organizer and beneficiary

Maddie O’Connor
Shellie Mozza

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