Ovarian cancer sufferer fights to raise awareness of condition

Ovarian cancer sufferer fights to raise awareness of condition

Lucy Golding

Ovarian cancer sufferer fights to raise awareness of condition
Sharan Webb and Shelley Hand

A determined Maidenhead mum suffering from incurable ovarian cancer is continuing her campaign to raise awareness about the condition - and leave an inspiring legacy for her children.

Shelley Hand, who has a five-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, was first diagnosed in April 2011 at the age of 43.

After a full hysterectomy Shelley, who works as a supply teacher at Furze Platt Infant School, overcame the cancer in October 2011 but it returned in May 2012.

With the help from friends Shelley raised £20,000 last year for Ovarian Cancer Action.

Her efforts have included sponsored races, walks and a skydive.

Shelley, who lives in Beverley Gardens with husband Darren, thinks she may only have another 10 years to live but is determined to make the most of every minute.

"I don't want my children to think that I just spent my illness cowering under a duvet," said the enthusiastic member of Windsor and Maidenhead Rock Choir, who sung at last month's Let's Rock The Moor in Cookham.

"I want them to know that I tried to do something about it and hopefully leave a legacy for them."

A carrier of the BRCA1 gene, Shelley's children both have a higher chance of developing cancer themselves in the future.

Along with friend Sharan Webb, who lives in Mossy Vale, Shelley is now working hard to organise a charity black tie ball at Marlow's Crowne Plaza Hotel to include a fundraising auction, three-course dinner and live entertainment.

The two women, who met because their children attend Furze Platt Junior and Infant Schools, are determined to sell the 300 ball tickets, priced at £75 per head, to be held on Saturday, October 5.

Sharan, who runs online support forum for women Maidenhead Gossip Girls, is equally as determined to help raise money and awareness surrounding the lesser-known symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Contact sharanjohal@hotmail.com to buy tickets for the ball or to donate items for auction.

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