Sharon Gayle wasn’t expecting to survive, when doctors discharged her from hospital to spend one last Christmas with family.

However four years later, the 56-year-old is set to enjoy yet another festive season and even welcome her very first grandchild, due just after December 25.

In 2015, the mum-of-three from South Croydon was simultaneously diagnosed with myeloma (a cancer that develops from plasma cells) and amyloidosis (a rare and serious non-cancerous condition caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein).

Clinical professionals gave Sharon just months to live, but after being told she was in remission in 2016, she now wants to show that there can be a light at the end of the cancer tunnel. Sharon, who was helped by Macmillan Cancer Support during some of her most challenging times, is also supporting the cancer charity’s campaign to encourage people to give a gift that will make a vital difference to people living with cancer this year.

Sharon said: “It took over a year of going back and forth to my GP’s and to my local hospital before my cancer was finally diagnosed.

"But in November 2015 it was confirmed I had myeloma as well as a heart condition caused by amyloidosis. I was put on a course of chemotherapy straight away and had to be monitored 24 hours a day by Cardiology as my heart was so damaged and I was at risk of having a heart attack – I spent 6 weeks in St George’s.

"Then, in December I was given the news that I only had 6 months to live and they sent me home to spend my “last Christmas” with my family.

“But 4 years later, I’m still here. I was told I was in remission in 2016, although I’m still monitored every 2 months. And my heart is permanently damaged – I had stage 2 heart failure - and it remains a challenge to walk upstairs and any distances.

“My Macmillan Nurse and the Haematology team at St George’s still laugh in amazement when they see me...that I’m still here, as they saw first-hand just how ill I was.”

Sharon is now working with Macmillan to encourage people to give the gift of a donation, to help fund new Macmillan cancer care specialists and services, so other cancer patients can be supported just as she was.

“There’s a big void once treatment ends. When you get diagnosed, all the attention is on you. But then that all stops. You’re happy the chemo is over, but you’re still in limbo.

"I never received any follow-up care or support after chemo. I was struggling. I’d lost my job, I was 53 years old, I had insomnia, low self-esteem, as well as other health issues.

"I felt I could no longer do any of the things I used to enjoy – like the simple pleasure of just going for a walk. 6 months after treatment finished, I realised that I needed help.

“I want to share my experience…the struggles to get diagnosed and the importance of treating people as individuals – one glove does not fit all. We’re all different. Patients need to be looked at as unique.

“Many people with myeloma don’t get the chance to voice their experiences, as they don’t survive, so that’s why I wrote a book, ‘Why Me?’, as I am so passionate about sharing my experiences and my story. My book is about the other side of cancer…the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Every 15 minutes someone in London is diagnosed with cancer. Macmillan relies almost entirely on public donations to funds its vital cancer services. To help us this Christmas, donate today at

Sharon’s book ‘Why Me?’ is available to buy from

Anyone looking for support with cancer over Christmas can access the Macmillan Online Community 24/7 at, to share their experiences and concerns with other people affected by cancer.