'I’m so grateful to have more precious time with my loved ones': Blackpool mum backs new Cancer Research UK campaign

A Blackpool mum who would have faced just months to live if a rare cancer hadn’t been detected, is backing a Cancer Research UK campaign to help save more lives, as the charity fights back from the impact of the pandemic.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 12:30 pm

When mum-of-four Sherryl Newbold heard the words ‘you have cancer’, her life changed in ways that she could never have imagined.

Sherryl started to have problems swallowing food in 2019 with severe ear pain for around four months and was alarmed when she realised the back of her tongue had become completely

rock solid.

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Sherryl Newbold

The 55-year-old was quickly admitted to hospital for a tonsillectomy and biopsy from her tongue and tonsils.

When Sherryl walked into the room for her results and saw the nurse sat alongside the doctor, she knew something was seriously wrong, but needed to stay strong for her husband and

her mum who were with her.

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Sherryl was diagnosed with aggressive and advanced squamous cell carcinoma all over the whole base of her tongue.

Doctors told her she would only have six months to live without immediate treatment.

She began an intensive course of six weeks of daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy once a week at the start of 2020.

Side effects included a sore mouth, burns on her neck due to the radiotherapy, having to use a feeding tube and not even being able to swallow water.

Sherryl feels she was fortunate to complete her treatment just before lock-down and the pandemic. However, her after care has been limited.

She has made a remarkable recovery and is now on a phased return to work as a social worker which she had only just started when she became poorly.

Sherryl continues to live on a liquid only diet and can’t swallow food.

The sound of her voice has also changed which has been challenging to come to terms with.

She said: “I was absolutely devastated when I was diagnosed.

“My first thought was for my husband, children, grand-daughter, parents and sisters and the impact on them.

“I have felt a terrible guilt for all the worry and upset they have gone through.

“I’m so grateful to have more precious time with my loved ones.

“Others have not been as fortunate and one of my dear friends lost her battle with the same cancer due to her treatment being postponed during lockdown.

“As a result of the pandemic, cancer is as urgent an issue now as it’s ever been.”

Sherryl owes her life to research into better treatments and wants to pay tribute to the people who supported her through her cancer journey.

To Sherryl, these precious individuals are not only her family, friends and medical team – but also the tireless army of fundraisers, volunteers and donors who help to fund life-saving

research.

That’s why she’s highlighting a powerful new short film from Cancer Research UK which underlines how everyone has a part to play in the fight against the disease.

It features the rallying call to arms: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. All of us can support the research that will beat it.”

It’s a sobering statistic, but Sherryl hopes her story will inspire people to make a difference and become a part of the solution to this devastating disease.

She added: “My experience means I understand the importance of Cancer Research UK’s work all too clearly.

“With so many people affected, we’re all in this together, so I hope that people across Lancashire will play their part.

“Every action – big or small – helps Cancer Research UK to ensure more people like me survive.”

In the North West, around 42,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has been at the heart of the progress that has seen survival

in the UK double in the last 40 years.

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “We are grateful to Sherryl for her support.

“Covid-19 has hit us hard, but we are more focussed than ever on our ambition of seeing three in four people survive their cancer by 2034.

“This past year proves, more than any other, the value of research and what can be achieved together.

“Just like science is our route out of the pandemic, science is our route to beating cancer.

“That’s why we want to harness the ‘people power’ of our incredible supporters, because the progress we make relies on every hour of research, every pound donated and everyone who

gets involved.

“So, whether they give £2 a month, sign up to Race for Life, volunteer at our shops or pledge to leave a gift in their Will - with the help of people in Lancashire we believe that together we

will beat cancer.”

Visit www.cruk.org.

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