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April FunMum Interview – Shazz

I’ve known Shazz all my life; she’s my big sister.  Shazz is one of those people everyone wants to be around.  She radiates a magnetism that’s infectious.  She is one of the most beautiful people I know.

Shazz was always a hard working young woman with an endless amount of grit.  Her room was always perfect; her hair was always perfect; her clothes never had a wrinkle.  Although there have been times when I wish I could have been just like her, I could never feel jealous of Shazz; she’s the sunshine on a rainy day.

Shazz’s peaches and cream skin was glowing, her glossy hair swept up allowing her cornflower blue eyes to highlight her strong alluring face.  It was her miracle wedding.  Just 8 weeks prior, Shazz’s fiancé Josh, came very close to death due to a brain tumour and build-up of fluid on the brain.  It was Christmas Eve and after a long period of ill health, the pressure in Josh’s head was so great, he was rushed to hospital and a benign tumour was removed.  This was the start of a beautiful marriage; yet one filled with more challenges then most people have in ten lifetimes.

Josh and Shazz’s marriage was blessed with three children.  During these years, Josh endured another two critical brain surgeries. Shazz was told by the Doctors that Josh may never be the same; may never be able to work; may not be able to talk or remember; and that he may never wake up.  Against the odds, Josh has had a miraculous recovery.  He’s highly successful Property Development Manager and wonderful husband and father.

While many marriages may have buckled under the immense pressure experienced by Josh and Shazz, their love for each other and God was stronger with every mountain conquered; there were many more mountains to climb.  The first was when Josh and Shazz’s, then 16 month old daughter, Madeline, was admitted to hospital, critically ill.   After fighting a terrible virus for two weeks, Madeline was left with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which meant she was unable to walk or move well.  Madeline suffered the ailment for years but amazingly, and rarely, has outgrown the disease and is now in remission.  Josh and Shazz’s other children, Isaac and Hamish, both also have health issues: they suffer from severe asthma.  All this time, Shazz was holding her family in a way that no one else could. Then, it was time for her to climb a mountain of her own.

The day our Mother died (at only 51), was a day we, as her daughters died too.  In the aftermath of grieving Shazz found out that she too, was suffering from cancer.  While not the aggressive type of cancer our mother had, the blow was almost too great to bear.  Two subsequent operations and a dose of radiation meant Shazz had a chance to live.

While her family seemed to stabile, Shazz’s health deteriorated.  After countless tests, it was confirmed Shazz had Lupus: a chronic, incurable and potentially fatal disease.  It gets even messier; a large mass was found in Shazz’s uterus.   She was put on some medication to help with the symptoms which unfortunately led to her developing a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) that permanently damaged the veins in her leg; it will always be larger than the other.  The damage was so extensive that Sharron had to be bed bound for 8 months to reduce the swelling in her leg and yet somehow, she managed to continue to look after her children and bring a smile to the face of anyone who came into contact with her.  I’m sad to say that more suffering was to come.

The mass found in Shazz’s uterus was removed after her leg was somewhat stable; however, the operation was much more risky given her health complications.  Fortunately, the mass was benign. Hooray for good news; and now for more bad news: the doctors found a melanoma on Shazz’s leg (the leg with the DVT).  After two operations it appeared the removal was successful; however, that’s when Shazz’s new battle began: the battle for her leg wound to heal.

Because of the damage to Shazz’s leg, the lack of blood flow and complications of Lupus, the melanoma site wound would not heal.  Shazz’s has suffered infection after infection; adjusting dressing after dressing; and using antibiotic after antibiotics. This has currently gone on for a year now.  The doctors recently performed skin graft surgery in an effort to aid healing.

Currently, Shazz is back in hospital after the breakdown of the skin graft and haemorrhaging.  The Doctors are at a loss to know what to do.  They are currently trialling medicine given to cancer patients which have horrendous side effects. She will be in hospital for at least six weeks.

It’s important to note that nothing is easy in relation to Shazz.  Each operation and treatment has to be run past countless specialists, all trying to juggle the conflicting ailments.  I’ve only touched the surface of what Shazz has suffered. 

In all this, through all the suffering and pain, Shazz is a constant delight to those around her.  She is not only my sister, my best friend and my hero; she is my sunshine on a rainy day.

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What is your best FunMum tip?

Find the joy in everything you do.

What is your favourite fashion accessory?

I love my Pandora bracelet because it has so much memory wrapped up in it.

How do you cope Mothering when you are sick all of the time?

I put the children first.   I know this sounds cliché but I stay positive.

How do you stay positive?

I laugh – a lot.  If I didn’t laugh, I would be in the corner with a straight jacket. I laugh and I survive. My family helps me too.

What is your most embarrassing Mother Moment?

I had can’t remember being embarrassed with my first two children, and then I had Hamish. I can’t even count the times he’s embarrassed me! He’s one of a kind; I love him to bits but he drives me nuts!  Here are two examples (he was 2 1/5 years at the time):

  1. After a meeting with a Real Estate agent, Hamish offered his hand to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Hamish and my Mum has a bosom.”
  2.  His grandfather was looking after him one morning and Hamish got a little cross when he was told not to do something.  He looked his grandfather in the eye and said, “I’m going to SMASH you.”

Has your Faith been shaken through all your hardship?

Not once.  That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes ask why. I do.

The answer is similar to this common question: If God is a loving God, why is there so much suffering in the world?  I can’t even go into all the ins and outs of this question but to put it simply, this world is imperfect, it’s full of sin and sin destroys.  This was not God’s choice, it was ours. I’m not immune from the effects of sin in this World but God helps me through the hardship and brings something beautiful out of it; something good.  I’m not sure what yet but I believe.  It’s hard but I have peace. I don’t know what the future holds but Praise God, I know who holds my future.

You can follow Shazz’s progress on facebook at: Pray for Shazz.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    naomi
    May 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    this story left me teary eyed but feeling so blessed. sharon you are an inspiration to me.

  • Reply
    Heidi
    May 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I love you Shazz. Love you Kel. So so much xx

  • Reply
    Wendy Francis
    May 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

    love you both so much. proud of you.

  • Reply
    Leith Stranger
    May 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    You are both an inspiration to me Shazz and Kelly. Love you both so much. xo

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 3, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    That is a very very beautiful story and interview.
    Thankyou for sharing Kelly
    xx

  • Reply
    Trish
    May 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Have always admired Sharron and Josh and all they have encountered and dealt with along the way they both amaze me and i think they r a great testament to ppl to know how their love of God has helped them through their trials….

  • Reply
    Julie
    May 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks Kelly.I’m sure many are inspired by the way Shazz continues to put her trust in God, through all those hard times. It is a testimony to God’s work in her life. I am also inspired by your love and respect for Shazz. She sounds like a truly remarkable woman.

  • Reply
    SquiggleMum
    May 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    An inspiring post about a woman of true faith. xx

  • Reply
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    Girl
    July 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm

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