This is my daughter Sherife, an amazing 33 year old Children's and youth worker from a small place called Fulham, in London. Her zest for life, love, fun, music festivals, singing and laughter are enormous, along with her aim to help change people's lives, whether it's rough sleepers or children and young people of her community. Sherife longs to return to Amasango school for street kids in South Africa where she volunteered, as well as in the orphanage there where she fell in love with the beautiful children as they did her. But now she needs everybody's URGENT help right now to give her a chance of life -
In 2018 Sherife’s world was shattered by the devastating news when she was diagnosed with FIGO stage llB squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix and start to the pelvic lymph nodes and paraortic lymph node. Unfortunately because of the time it took to get a diagnosis, and because it was an aggressive cancer, it had got too big to operate. She embarked upon 2 months of extremely punishing radical radiotherapy daily, chemotherapy and then brachytherapy. After a 3 month follow up scan they told her that treatment had been successful, and although the scan showed white signal cells they were minute and they said would just be residual from treatment. Sadly again even though Sherife presented with symptoms diagnosis wasn’t timely enough, once again it was too late to operate. The cancer was back and advanced by February 2019. She will do whatever it now takes, she has no choice, she is determined to live!
Sherife and her Royal Marsden medical teams have thrown everything they can at this cancer with more chemotherapy, and sherife has fought every step of the way, even when knocked down by early menopause, and at the great expense of losing her fertility, even when she was told it was back! But now the last and only option is a new treatment being used to tackle this tumour- an immunotherapy drug. It's her LAST HOPE. But, and it is a BIG but, it’s not classified as a standard treatment and therefore isn’t available on the NHS for this cancer Despite immunotherapy working for other women with the same tumour around the world and being used for other cancers on the NHS (and this being the best, in fact only medical option now) the hospital here or in the USA UPDATE: WE ARE HOPING SHERIFE WILL BE RECEIVING TREATMENT FROM A SOUTHAMPTON CENTRE OR FRANCE. (If the UK team can’t) are only able to supply the drug privately to Sherife and sadly at a great expense. The cost is about £114,000 per year. Her consultant is appealing to the hospitals powers that be on her behalf, to try for co-payment, hopefully bringing this cost down a little, but there is just a small chance for this. So I’m now appealing to you for your help. Anything you can donate, however small, would help Sherife towards giving this drug a chance to save her life.
Thank you for reading Sherife’s story <3
Please read on...
IN all of these photos that follow, you will see that Sherife is always smiling, you can't find a photo where she isn't and still not a day goes by where she doesn't help someone, by simply smiling.
In 2017 Sherife found what she later considered her vocation - to work with the children and young people in South Africa. This is her princess, Sherife never gives a second thought to playing with a child with HIV, all she cares about is showing this beautiful orphan that she is loved.
Sherife found herself here, at this amazing school where she gave so much volunteering, and they loved her! She can't wait to go back
Sherife loves to travel and experience life. But even doing a year in Ibiza back in 2009 making lifelong friends and enjoying life, she took a job for a children's charity - children will always be in her heart, even when playing the party girl! She can't wait to set off again
Sherife and her cousin, closest friend and rock to each other - Where there is one there is the other, working alongside each other with the young people and volunteering together...As well as living and loving life together.
Sherife's Christmas 2018 Homless campaign - Not long from finishing grueling treatment, Sherife decided to give something back and organised this amazing campaign
The response was overwhelming, she touched so many hearts - Every night in December going out with those she had smiled at and talked into joining her...You can't say no to the smile! She delivered more than 850 presents to rough sleepers in different parts of London, stopping to listen, chat, buy them a hot drink or food, give them a hug, and try to help those further that she could. By this time Sherife had told the hospital of symptons of the disease returning.
Even while going through treatment last year, it didn't stop her volunteering and thinking of others with ways that she could help make life a little more bearable for some. So she organised Crew mobile barbers/hairdressers to visit the Homeless lunch sessions at All Saints Fulham, so that the service users could enjoy a treat of hair cut, shampoo, blow dry, shave, or even a little head massage
Sherife with the man in her life - Steven. It has been a very rough 2 years for them, but they stay positive together. Here they are in Zakinthos, a year before diagnosis, in the place that Sherife dreams of being their home one day soon.
Sherife is so devoted to her nieces, and they love her sooo much! There is nothing auntie Rah Rah loves more in the world than being with them and fooling around, She can't wait for their next adventures
The most special day for her - Although she was receiving chemotherapy in May 2019, Sherife was so happy to become Godmother to her beautiful niece. She is looking forward so much to going on adventures with her, just like her big sister does with auntie Rah Rah.
The Gangs all here! - Every year Sherife volunteers and helps organise with the young people their fundraiser for their day out to South End that she then takes them on! 2018 was no different, except that she was in in the middle of daily radiotherapy and weekly chemotherapy.
Family is everything to Sherife, and she certainly wasn't missing this family tea party - Her nieces 5th birthday last year. Although she was feeling pretty tired and in pain, at this time, the smile was still there, as it still is now every day.
Sisters in arms - When Sherife was diagnosed lat year, her baby sister was right there by her side, always keeping her positive, just as she does today, giving her hope keeping her strong, making her the warrior she is.
Mumma's love - The bond between mother and daughter is like nothing else on earth. Last year Sherife and Mum shared a day out away from treatment...Well every girl deserves a little guilty pleasure sometimes doesn't she! I spend every day with Sherife now and each one is special, we are enjoying making plans for our next adventures that with your help we will achieve.
- JEFF DENNY
- Rebecca Rutherford
Fundraising team (2)
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