Single Mum From Klang Needs RM1 Million For Cancer Treatment. Here's How You Can Help
Meet Sharizan Mohd Saleh, a 33-year-old single mother of a cheerful four-year-old boy.
She is also battling cancer.
Sha, as she's fondly known, was diagnosed with cancer in April 2016 after a biopsy on her lung. The doctors confirmed her worst fear - she had stage 3A cancer.
She went through a surgery to remove her upper right lung and seven lymph nodes in May 2016. That was followed by four rounds of chemotherapy.
Eight months after she was diagnosed with cancer, Sha finally got some good news.
"I was given the clear - No Evidence Of Disease (NED)," explained Sha, in a crowdfunding site, GIVE.asia.
NED is a term used by when examinations and tests can find no evidence of cancer in a patient.
Everything was getting better, until 5 May 2017.
"I woke up in the ICU. Had a seizure at work. The doctors did a brain and full body scan to find out the cause. Yes, the cancer is back in my lungs and it has metastasized to my brain."
Sha was admitted to the hospital and spent a week there. She went through Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery (FSRS) for five days in a row - administered five shots each day.
She mentioned that she was thankful for not having to go through a lot of side effects from the treatment. According to Radiation Oncology Atlanta, FSRS is usually used for patients with brain or skull-based tumours that are too large to safely undergo single fraction radiosurgery.
About a month later, on 15 June 2017, Sha went through her first cycle of immunotheraphy (pembrolizumab).
Cancer Research UK says that pembrolizumab is a type of immunotheraphy that stimulates the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. Patients will usually have to go through treatment for about 30 minutes each session, every three weeks. They can continue receiving the treatment for up to two years (or more, in some rare cases) if it works and the side effects aren't too bad.
Sha has already gone through two cycles of immunotherapy treatment, but her oncologist told her that she'll need get more treatments in the next two years.
That's RM30,000 every three weeks for two years. In total, the treatment is going to cost Sha RM1,000,000.
Sadly, due to financial constraints, Sha has stopped treatment. The problem here is that she can't transfer to government hospitals either as they don't offer immunotherapy treatment.
Her last resort at this point is chemotherapy and she's still on the waiting list to receive treatment at a public hospital.
"Immunotherapy is the best chance I have to having a normal life."
Watch Sha speak about her journey with battling cancer here.
Determined to help Sha beat cancer, her college mate Kimberly Low, has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise RM1,000,000 for Sha to continue receiving immunotherapy sessions
"Sha is my age. She needs to keep living! What's the use of being alive when you have to lose and sell everything for treatment!?" asked Low.
It was also mentioned that the young mother's insurance quota is almost up.
"I hope if you're reading this, please find in your heart to help my wonderful friend, Shari. We are racing against time. With immunotherapy, Sha will have a shot at life, at seeing her son grow up, and making memories with him which he could remember. Please give her a chance," read the message.
Sha needs our help. Whatever funds we contribute, adds to her chances of staying alive, well, and raising her son. Here's how you can do your part:
There are a few ways you can donate to Sha's cause. You can either go to Low's crowdfunding campaign on Give.asia and donate there or bank in the donations to her Maybank account (512044534207), under the name Sharizan binti Mohd Saleh.
Apart from this, an event called 'Shop For A Cause' was held yesterday, 27 August, at The Canvas in Damansara Perdana to raise funds for Sha's treatment. It was organised by her friends and cooking demonstrations, sales of food, busking, henna art showcases, and poetry recital were among the programmes that were part of the event.
Note: The crowdfunding campaign has already raised RM61,677.65, in addition to the RM37,570.80 Sha has received so far from other sources.