31 October 2016, Feature
9 year-old girl, Sharon Callista Rain, suffers from bone cancer since September 2015.
Despite being wheelchair bound, Sharon’s maturity and bravery evidently shines through her life and never fails to brighten those around her. It is not easy for anyone to cope with an illness, what more for a young girl who used to actively model for children’s wear, swim, dance and run.
With her hair neatly tied back, big wide eyes behind thick, curly lashes, Sharon travels around in a wheelchair hugging her colorful “My Little Pony” pillow, all the time.
“I only like “My Little Pony”. I do not really like the rest of the cartoons. I enjoy watching Pony on Youtube. I also enjoy playing the keyboard,” says Sharon as she described her typical day at home. “In church, I play with Evan. She is my best friend. I love school and the best things about school are my friends. I like to play with them. I want to learn more. Maths and Science are my favorite subjects.”
Linda Rain, Sharon’s mother and sole caregiver accompanies her every step of the way. Her love for Sharon is greatly seen through her disposition and the excitement as she talks about her daughter’s experiences as a child model. Heartbreaks and uncontrollable tears stream down as Linda shares Sharon’s photo while she was still a young active model, participating in competitions and games.
On 9 Sep 2015, Sharon started feeling pain in her back. After visiting the doctor who prescribed her some medicine without detecting any serious illness, she went home.
However, on 27th September 2015, Sharon told her mum she could not feel anything in her feet. The doctor advised that her spine was infected.
They went for further checks and discovered that it was Ewing Sarcoma, a rare disease which is found in the bone or soft tissue. Surgery was performed in October 2015 and Sharon had to be hospitalized for a month. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy was recommended. However, there was still no improvement.
With the support of friends in church, their community and family, Linda and Sharon came to Singapore to seek further treatment in NUH. Both mother and daughter are now staying in a unit overlooking the reservoir surrounded by a vast area of greenery, while Sharon’s father, Richard Rain, the sole breadwinner of the family continues to work in Indonesia.
Linda is so grateful for the wonderful people who entered their lives. Sahabat Orang Sakit (SOS), an Indonesian community church in Singapore, has rallied around them throughout the whole journey. The assistant pastor, Ricky, has invited them to stay at his apartment in Singapore without any rental. With the support of their pastors and church members, the hospital bills were also well taken care of.
Sharon is also thankful for Star PALS for visiting her at her rental apartment and taking care of her needs and wants.
“Nurse Nicole from Star PALS is nice. She knows that I wanted to visit the Singapore River Safari and Zoo, so she planned an outing to for me, I enjoyed it! Kimberly, my Medical Social Worker is also nice to me,” shares Sharon in her own simple words of appreciation.
Since Sharon was two years old, she has been acting in Indonesia. When she was three, she started to model for children’s clothes, and often paraded and “catwalk” in shopping centres.
“I was her personal chauffeur, driving her to and from school during weekdays, and sending her to the modeling assignments and classes with Kumon during weekends,” jokes Linda.
“Daddy sent me to school, not you Mum.” Sharon gently interrupted.
The intimacy of this family is not lost on us. Linda and Sharon recounted the experiences and activities they used to enjoy together. Sharon not only knows how to catwalk, pose for camera, she can also sing, play piano, dance and swim. Talking about these activities brought a smile to her face.
With such talents, Sharon is planning to embark on a new journey to do a personal music video. As a nine-year-old, it is amazing that Sharon has overcome so many milestones, which clearly reveals a determined young girl who knows how to live life fully.
“We can only rely on God’s miracle. We came by faith and never in my wildest imagination did I expect such grace,” shares Linda.
“I don’t really care. God will decide how long I live,” added Sharon adamantly about her prognosis.
Although young, Sharon displays an amazing maturity in coping with life and death. Her faith is unwavering for matters that are beyond her control. In the meantime, she continues her life with passion, giving her best at what she enjoys doing and living life to the fullest.
Drop a note of encouragement to Sharon and her family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://www.starpals.sg/ to find out more about Star PALS, a paediatric palliative service under HCA Hospice Care.