My name is Andrea Sheardown, I'm 45, married and I have 3 beautiful children aged 15, 14 & 5, I would like to share my story with you to raise awareness about the deadly cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma and raise lots of money for the UK's only Cholangiocarcinoma charity called the AMMF.
In October 2015, my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma a very rare form of bile duct cancer. It is known as one of the 'silent killer' cancers, and has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers, as it is difficult to diagnose accurately and early. By the time of diagnosis it is often to advanced for surgery - which is currently the only potential cure. I had been experiencing some severe pain and discomfort in my ribcage and it was initially put down to strained muscles. However, on further investigation and X-rays a mass was detected on my liver. After initially been given just weeks to live, I managed to defy the odds and go on to have major surgery to my liver in November 2015 to remove the cancer, and this was then followed by a gruelling 6 month course of chemotherapy. At times I was left feeling very ill and weak and was in and out of hospital but giving up never entered my head.
This cancer is increasing across all age groups, including younger people, and the cause of this ongoing increase is unknown. Much more research is desperately needed. AMMF is the UK's only cholangiocarcinoma charity, dedicated to tackling this devastating cancer on all fronts; providing information and support, campaigning to raise awareness and encouraging and supporting research.
The past few months have been filled with very mixed emotions, the thought of not being here is not an option! I have remained positive all the way through my treatment, continuing to work, not giving up and with the help and support of my close family and friends wanted to make a difference to this charity from the outset. I feel like I have been climbing a mountain over the past few months so it seemed apt to try the real thing, even though I don't like heights!
- November 2016 - Summiting Snowdon
- December 2016 - Summiting Scafell Pike
- February 2017 - Summiting a very snowy Ben Nevis!
So far with the help of friends, family and local businesses I have raised nearly £6,700 for the AMMF.
I now have to have scans every few months and have been told this devastating cancer could come back at any stage. Setting myself these challenges has helped me stay positive and focused which leads me on to my next big challenge - TO CLIMB THE WORLD'S LARGEST FREE STANDING MOUNTAIN KILIMANJARO IN FEBRUARY 2018!
Along with my 14 year old son, I now have an army of friends accompanying me on this trip of a lifetime, made up of mostly mums and dads from my younger sons school (see the picture of us all on this page). We are doing this trek in February 2018 at our own expense, so all money raised goes directly to the AMMF. We also plan to raise money over the next few months in the lead up to our big adventure by organising sponsored events along the way. obviously, donations are crucial to this being worthwhile and a success, so all your support would be amazing.
Please keep checking in on our page and help us spread this story far and wide, helping the AMMF to fund the future research into detecting this cancer earlier, enabling more people to survive this evil cancer Cholangiocarcinoma!
Thank you so much for reading this story - Andrea and her AMMF Army!
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.