Cancer granny’s wish granted

Heart breaking yet at the same time an act of kindness and love bestowed on a cancer patient who desperately wanted to be part of her first grandchild’s christening ceremony.

Sharon Marks (52), a patient at the Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services’ In-Patient Unit in New Market Park in Alberton, was not able to attend the official christening of 6-month old Dylan at Crossroads on Sunday, August 31. Staff at the Hospice quickly jumped into action and arranged for Deacon Dr Vernon van Wyk to perform a second blessing during the same afternoon at the Hospice’s first Annual Memorial Day held at the In-Patient Unit.

Sharon’s son, Shaune (27) and his fiancée Tanya, swallowed their tears as little Dylan sat quietly on his granny’s lap, totally unaware of the emotional importance of this blessing and what it meant to Sharon to be a part of this.

This Brackenhurst family has had their share of heartache. Sharon was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. After completing chemo sessions and cancer therapies, she went into remission, but in August last year, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

Her husband Ashley, their daughter, Samantha (29), her 74-year old mom, Marie Arpin and Shaune and Tanya hardly leave her bedside at the In-Patient Unit. Sharon has been a patient in the Unit for the past four weeks and staff describe her as a “warrior, an example to us all, a fighter who is always ready with a smile, welcoming her family and continuously worrying about their well-being.”

Hospices are the only facilities in South Africa providing palliative care as defined by the World Health Organization to people experiencing the impact of a life-limiting illness. Hospice care includes the control of pain and other symptoms and emotional, social and spiritual problems. Palliative care is offered by a team comprising of doctors, professional nurses, therapists, social workers, spiritual counselors and volunteers.

Caption: 6-month old Dylan Marks content on his granny’s lap whilst mom Tanya, dad Shaune and granddad Ashley look on.

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