Sharanya’s Brain Cancer Treatment

Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Sep 29, 2019

Dear friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we write to inform you that our dear friend Sharanya passed away peacefully in hospital on 9 September 2019 in Dublin, Ireland, with her loving family by her side.

She faced her illness bravely and gracefully, and we will forever be inspired by her positivity.

Sharanya, Barry and their children Kaishori and Alokhi relocated to Rosslare, Ireland, in July. The children are now happily settled in school and living near their doting grandparents and wider family.

We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support you provided Sharanya and Barry. They were truly uplifted and overwhelmed by all your messages and the outpouring of love they received, alongside the generous financial support.

Sharanya’s funeral was held in Rosslare and Dublin on 14 September 2019. Below, we would like to share the speech we gave that day in celebration of her life.

With love, Andrea, Annmarie, Jang, Kamni & Stephanie.

Good afternoon everyone. Today we are speaking on behalf of Andrea, Annmarie, Jang, Kamni and Stephanie. We have all been good friends with Sharanya since our school days in Hong Kong. She was our best friend and like a sister to us.

We have been with Sharanya through teenage dramas, exam stress, house parties and travels around the world. This evolved into being there for each other through weddings, new jobs, the ups and downs of adult life and then the world of parenting.

Organising a meet-up between the six of us was a challenge but three things could always be guaranteed. Firstly, we would receive a message from Sharanya just before we were due to meet to say that she was running late. Secondly, when she did turn up, she would look fabulous and be perfectly accessorized. Last but not least, when we would sit down for a meal, she would be the one staring at the menu the longest, debating what to order.

Everyone who met Sharanya would be struck by her beauty, her smile, her generosity and her kindness. Sharanya’s smile was radiant, because she celebrated all that was good, whether it be spending time with her children, family and friends, a simple walk on the beach, or listening to her favourite songs. Whenever we met, she would always find cause to laugh and her trademark giggle would lift all our spirits.

Sharanya’s generosity was not lost on anyone who knew her. When we were kids, she would spend hours making us handmade cards and mix tapes. When we turned 40, she spent months putting together an incredible photobook for each of us, collating memories that spanned three decades.

No matter what she had going on in her own life, she was selfless with her time and energy. She was the best listener and helped us to see the positives in any situation. Sharanya really embodied this positivity in the last couple of years. Despite being so unwell, she never forgot to ask us about the day to day details of our lives, from house moves to weekend plans. She could always sense if something was bothering us and would take the time to have what she would call a DMC – deep meaningful conversation. This didn’t just apply to us. She spent many hours sharing her experience with others who had been diagnosed with cancer and supporting them.

Above all, Sharanya was truly devoted to her family. She loved her parents and her sister dearly and was a very proud Aunty. It has been heart-warming to see Sharanya build her own family. We still remember how her eyes lit up when she first told us about ‘this handsome and nerdy Irish guy called Barry’ who she had met at Cambridge. They brought out the best in each other and were the perfect couple. When she later became a mother, or as Kaishori and Alokhi call her, Ami, we saw her reach new depths of unconditional love.

We have learnt so much from Sharanya, and she was always the one in the group with the true gift for words. So we thought it fitting to share with you all her reflections on life that she summed up so well on her last birthday. She wrote: “Although the last two years have been very hard they have shown me not to take anything for granted, to recognise every day and unexpected moments of lightness and joy, and to accept and give more kindness.”

Sharanya, we will treasure your words of wisdom. You are irreplaceable, we love you and we miss you. Thank you for everything. You will always remain in our hearts.

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Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Jan 15, 2019

Dear Friends

Happy New Year to you all and I wish each one of you everything good in health, happiness, and love for 2019!

This update is long overdue. I know many of you have been asking about me and wondering how things are going. Actually, I haven't forgotten to write but I wanted to wait until the holidays were over and most of us are back in the routines of everyday life. Things have changed for me but it's all part of a new routine of life, I suppose. After a good few months free of treatment, resting and getting stronger and some wonderful visits from friends and family, I developed a lot of back pain. After an MRI and a PET scan in late November I had good and bad news. The good news was that the brain MRI was still clear, a huge relief. The bad news is that the PET scan showed I had developed bone metastasis in my spine. I had immediate radiation sessions to the main area of bone metastasis which were very effective in relieving the pain and I started chemo again in December. After much thought, I've decided to move my chemo treatment to the public hospital from my private clinic, as I've realised that I've entered the stage where treatment is definitely going to be recurrent and ongoing. It will be easier to manage in terms of new things occurring and in financial terms. Basically, I'll be moving between private and public and using private healthcare for urgent scans or special drugs in case I can't access them in public healthcare. Right after I got my latest diagnosis, I ran into a dear fellow Stage 4 friend who has been a real inspiration to me. I was feeling very upset but she said to me that bone metastasis is the best to have (it's the most common metastasis for Triple Negative Breast Cancer patients and therefore there are more treatments possibly available). She told me to take life one day at a time and make sure to go out and live fully on the good days and take good care on the hard days. This reassurance and simple advice was what I needed to hear and I try as much as I can to put it into action. With Barry as my amazing companion and rock, the sunshine of Kaishori and Alokhi lighting up my life, as well as the constant nourishing support and friendship of friends and family near and far, I'm making the most of the good days and taking the bad days in my stride as best I can. I won't lie, its the biggest challenge I've ever had but the best thing you can do in a situation like this is keep lifting yourself up but also accepting that falling down is not failure, and recognising that all the small good things in life are precisely what life is about. I'll update again if there's any news but no news is good news! Take care, everyone and focus on the small, good things whenever you can.

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Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Sep 06, 2018

Dear Friends

I know many of you have been inquiring about how things are going. The positive news is that a recent MRI scan shows no new brain mets in the time immediately following the surgery and radiation. This is a huge relief, as you can imagine, and gives me some breathing space to focus on getting back into a normal routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I'll be repeating the scan in around 6 months time. The funds raised are hugely helpful to us right now as the bills for the recent treatment have finally come through at the same time as my sick pay ends and we need to settle a significant shortfall from our insurance. In fact, we need to cover a large amount of the surgery cost and the full amount of the radiation! We would have been in an unimaginably difficult situation without all your donations. Sending love to all you wonderful people and hoping that there is peace in everyone's lives.

With love,

Sharanya

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Wishing you continued good health Sharanya. We are delighted to read your update. Love to you, Barry, K and A. Ren x

Renuka Kuech

Update posted by Sep 06

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Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Aug 20, 2018

Dear Friends

Writing the words "thank you" seems inadequate for what we wish to express to you all. We have been astonished at how fast the target was reached and surpassed on the fundraising page. We have also been astonished at the generous donations made by friends and family offline, through other means. We cannot express how much your collective donations have lifted the extreme stress we were under a short time ago.

More than anything though, it is the messages on the page, the private messages on Facebook, Whatsapp and email, the words spoken face to face, the care and support offered and given in myriad ways, the concern, love and compassion coming not only from those who have always stood strong by us, but also the new friends we've made and friends not seen for decades, the friends of our larger families and the families of our friends, our colleagues and our students, and big-hearted strangers, that has well and truly overwhelmed us in the most positive uplifting way. Although we were nervous about launching this page, the act of reaching out to you all has been a real turning point for us that has lifted us out of the place we were in following my secondary cancer diagnosis and the urgent medical treatment. Instead of anger, fear, anxiety, and stress, we feel an amazing amount of generosity, care, support, and love.

On behalf of Barry, Kaishori, and Alokhi, I say thank you again. I hope I've given you some sense of what we want to say to you all through those simple words.

So much love from us to you,

Sharanya

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Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Aug 07, 2018

Hi everyone,

We are almost there! At the time of writing this we are at 88% of our funding target which is absolutely phenomenal considering that last week we hadn't even launched the campaign. In the past few days we have all been utterly overwhelmed and humbled by people reading this, sending their most heartfelt and heartwarming messages and donating. We honestly have not been able to make it this far without all of you. We just wanted to to thank you all again for making this happen, not just for lifting an substantial financial burden but showing how much you all care.

Thank you everyone for everything. x

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Update posted by Andrea Annmarie Jang Kamni Stephanie On Aug 04, 2018

We are just so overwhelmed and touched by the love and support that is being shown towards our dear friend Sharanya and her family and we just want to say a really BIG Thank You to everyone who has so generously donated towards her cancer treatment. As of this posting, we have already reached over 75% of our goal in only a few days which is so incredible!

Please find below a message from Sharanya:

Barry and I are utterly overwhelmed by the love and support coming from all over the world from dear old and new friends, friends of friends, even kind strangers. The words to thank you all seem inadequate. You have given us strength and hope. Your generosity and the messages we have received are beyond anything we imagined. We will be thanking each of you personally as soon as we can.

Much love to you all,

Sharanya

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Speedy recovery Sharanya. From Rosslare Golfer

Guest

Backed with $1000.00 On Oct 12, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed with $2000.00 On Sep 21, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed with $2000.00 On Sep 21, 2018

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I wish you and your family best of luck in this battle. God Bless!

Julia Busina

Backed with $500.00 On Sep 20, 2018

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We're backing you and your family Sharanya in every way! Group of Rosslare well-wishers x

Guest

Backed with $3500.00 On Sep 19, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed On Aug 31, 2018 Amount Hidden

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Wishing you a full return to good health Sharanya. From a group of well-wishers in Rosslare.

Guest

Backed with $4000.00 On Aug 31, 2018

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Anonymous

Backed On Aug 26, 2018 Amount Hidden

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Wishing you all the best. We're thinking of you. Jp & Natasha

Natasha Robertson

Backed with $400.00 On Aug 24, 2018

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Best wishes frim Niall, Jane and family x

Jane Crosbie

Backed with $1000.00 On Aug 24, 2018

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