In sweltering heat Hannah Cowey, 15, stands outside her home selling cakes she has baked to raise money and awareness about the little known cancer Sarcoma which her older sister is battling.
What started as a small lump on 20-year-old Maddie Cowey’s shoulder and was intially thought to be a cyst was shown up on a ultra scan to be the rare cancer ASPS (Alveolar Soft-Part Sarcoma) which affects the soft tissues and occurs mainly in young adults, usually females.
Soft tissue Sarcoma amounts for just 1.3 per cent of all UK cancer cases a year.
The tumour was removed on Maddie’s shoulder in 2016 when she was just 18 and then another tumour on her shoulder blade a year later leaving her with two large scars which she has embraced and now wears with pride.
ASPS is a progressive cancer which is difficult to diagnose and can migrate into other parts of the body, and has spread to Maddie’s lungs.
The Warwick University student who has spent the last year in Italy studying as part of a degree in Classics, has written a blog in which she shares her experiences with Sarcoma, along with her passions for life, food, travel and more.
In her last blog www.maddiecowey.wixsite.com/blog she writes a powefully honest account about living with cancer: “Sure, cancer can be a death sentence, and it is shit, but it is possible to live with it and live through it and more importantly, live HAPPILY through it.
“And I believe this to be true of other chronic diseases, and anyone living with a long-term, possibly life-threatening disease.
“Personally I don’t know what’s going to happen with my cancer, all I know is that this week is one year since I had my second operation which was my last form of treatment, and that my next scan is in August.
“So until August I won’t know what’s going to happen next. But I like to think that whatever happens, like so many people in the cancer community I will be able to continue to ‘live’ with cancer. Sometimes you just gotta roll with what life brings you. And sometimes you have to accept death. And live with that. “
Meanwhile sister Hannah and her Thornton Heath family, mum Jane, dad Colin, and brother William manned a stall outside their home in Parchmore Road. over the weekend as part of Sarcoma Awareness Week.
They are determined that others shouldn’t go through the same ordeal and want other families to be more aware of how to spot the early signs of the disease.
Dad Colin, a gardener, said that even if one parent listens then it had been worth while.
At the moment the disease is not spreading further and Maddie is enjoying a holiday with her boyfriend on the Amalfi Coast before returning to England to complete her final university year. The Youth Chronicle wishes Maddie well.
For more info about Sarcoma www:sarcoma.org.uk