A Warrior's Story: Sharizan

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass
It's about learning to dance in the rain.
- Vivian Greene

"A single mother, fighting the biggest battle of her life."

Cancer.... it just creeps up on you, when you least expect it. It doesn't care if you are young or old; fat or thin; healthy or unhealthy. It doesn't care if you're white, brown, or yellow; rich or poor; good or bad... 

When I first read Sha's story through a friend's (Kimberly) dayre post, my heart instantly went out to her 4-year old. My first thought was... besides donating money, what else can I give? I reached out to Kim, who connected us ... and I had the honour of making memories for Sha and Aniq, her adorable son. 

For Sha, her journey began in April 2016. What she thought was pain, possibly caused by her pregnancy a few years earlier, was diagnosed by doctors as Stage 3 lung cancer. A surgery and bouts of chemotherapy later, she was given the all clear - NED (no evidence of disease).

6 months after, while at work, she suddenly collapsed and was taken into the hospital. Because she was a cancer survivor, doctors did a full scan. That was when they discovered that the cancer is back, this time with a vengeance.

"I was told that the cancer is not only back in my lungs, it has also metastasised to my brain. And when there is a relapse, the cancer is immediately classified as Stage 4," she told me softly.

What impressed me most about Sha ... She doesn't let the disease define her. She told her story without any anger or 'why me, why me'. Instead, what I sensed was her positivity, and her steely determination to overcome and survive this, for her son.

The relationship she has with Aniq, her 4-year-old little boy is also something so precious to photograph. "Aniq knows where my meds are, and he understands when I'm tired and need to rest. I'm very thankful for him." 

Living with her parents, who are pensioners, Sha is the sole-breadwinner of her family. Her only hope of survival now is through monthly immunotherapy sessions, for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, these sessions are only available at private hospitals. This means, that they come with a heavy pricetag. With her insurance quota almost bursting, and a lack of funds, Sha chose to stop her sessions.

However, with her Give.Asia page set up by Kim, at the time of writing, enough funds have been raised for at least 2 immunotherapy sessions. If you can help, please continue to give and support. No matter how small the amount... a little bit goes a long way.

Shari + Aniq 31.jpg

For every family portrait session in the months of September and October 2017, I'm giving RM200 into Sha's fund. So if you're looking at getting good family photos, while helping a little boy have his mother for longer... now is the best time :)