Celebrity News

Silver Fern Shannon Francois’ cancer scare

It was a diagnosis that completely shook her world.

When you’re a healthy and fit 27-year-old athlete at the top of your game, the last thing you expect is to hear the word everyone fears – cancer.

But for Silver Fern star Shannon Francois, this was the reality, and she admits the diagnosis of skin cancer completely shook her world.

Shannon Francois in action.

Fully recovered after not one, but two surgeries for multiple Basel cell carcinomas, Shannon is physically in tip-top shape as she counts down to the Commonwealth Games in April, but admits her cancer diagnosis has changed her life completely.

“I just had a wee patch of red skin on my head, but I get eczema, so I just brushed it off for ages,” Shannon tells New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

“But any time I’d go home to see Mum in Motueka, she’d comment that it had got bigger. And then, my sister was diagnosed. That made me go and get checked out quick smart!”

While the type of cancer she was suffering from is highly treatable, Shannon says she was still shaken – and just after her surgery to remove the carcinoma, she was hospitalised in Christchurch when the van she and her Southern Steel teammates were travelling in crashed. While Shannon sustained only a minor injury to her elbow, team captain Wendy Frew required surgery to her elbow and leg.

For the full story, see this week’s New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, out now!

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