‘My daughter fought hard…check up on your children’s health’ – Mother who lost daughter to cancer


The mother of 16-year-old Shaniece Nanhoe, who was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue and most often affects children, is urging parents to ensure their children have regular medical checks. The teen was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in July 2019.

“My daughter was a normal, beautiful outstanding child and one day cancer took the better side of her. Go get your child checked out, you don’t have to suspect anything.

“I would even encourage the schools to do it because this type of cancer attacks teenagers.

“Go get them checked because I don’t want anybody to go through the pain I am feeling right now,” the mother of three, Shelly Balkarran, told the News Room on Wednesday, a day after her daughter lost her battle to cancer.

According to Balkarran, the teen fought a hard and long battle for 18 months. She died peacefully on Tuesday, one day after celebrating her 16th birthday.

“I am really proud to be her mother, because she fight. She waited until her 16th birthday….it was a hard, hard fight and (but) she did not cry out for pain.”

“She was my child my first child and I run the globe to save her,” the grieving mother stated.

Shelly Balkarran

According to cancer.org Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare cancer; just four per million patients develop it before age 15. The overall 5-year survival for children with this type of cancer is about 70%, while survival in adults is lower.

What started as a slightly swollen right eye deteriorated into a full-grown tumour covering almost half of the teen’s face and blocked her airways. The mother said her daughter could not speak properly or eat during her last few weeks.

The teen underwent chemotherapy treatment and according to her mother surgery was only recommended once but her condition worsened quickly and the surgery could not be done.

The family was caught off-guard by the severity of her illness and it took a toll on them financially.

However, after reaching out to the public, she received tremendous support and she is grateful for all that she received. The mother said she did everything in her power to try and save her and plans to give her daughter a grand farewell.

“She deserved the best. This a child that was sick, she could not move, but if I say ‘ouch’ she was ready to look after Mommy.

“I cannot read the amount of comments and donations. I got to let her live a little longer because of the community,” the mother explained.

The family lived in St Kitts and Nevis at the time of the teen’s diagnosis and Balkaran said she is not certain if she will return.

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