Strong-willed Sheffield mum never got to meet her grandson

Sunni Bains
Sunni Bains
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Sunni Bains was two months pregnant when she and her close-knit family received the devastating news that her beloved mum had a malignant brain tumour.

Her little boy Guvannjoht, born seven months later, was never to meet his 59-year-old grandmother Surinder Singh.

Sunni Bains with her late mother, Surinder Singh

Sunni Bains with her late mother, Surinder Singh

Sunni, who is Surinder’s only daughter, said: “Mum was always the strong one. She never complained and she had always been the one caring for everyone else.

“The moment we received the news that mum had cancer in the Hallamshire Hospital was absolutely devastating and for the first time ever, mum was silent.

“We just couldn’t believe it. To see mum go from a strong-willed, independent woman to almost immobile and dependable on others in just weeks was completely heart breaking.”

In February 2014, the Singh family, which owns a series of convenience stores across Sheffield, travelled to India to celebrate the marriage of a family member.

Sunni Bains with her son

Sunni Bains with her son

Mum-of-two Sunni returned to Sheffield soon afterwards, and Surinder stayed with extended family until June.

On her return to the family home in Grenoside, Surinder went to A&E after suffering with dizzy spells and knee pain. She had a CT scan and was given the tragic diagnosis of a grade three malignant brain tumour.

After a biopsy and MRI scan, Surinder - a mother-of-four and grandmother-of-five - was hospitalised and the horrible effects of the tumour began to surface.

Within days, she had lost use of her left leg and she began a six-week course of radiotherapy at Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital in September.

Sunni, aged 35, who lives in Moorgate, Rotherham, said: “We all helped out where we could and tried to stay positive for mum, encouraging her to move around and stay active.

“She tried to keep smiling throughout but we could see the pain she was in and although she would never say, I knew she was scared.”

Surinder’s memory deteriorated and after her treatment finished in October, she collapsed at home and was admitted to the Northern General Hospital. She was transferred over to Weston Park as her condition worsened.

After suffering two seizures, Surinder died in November surrounded by her heartbroken family.

Sunni said: “It was, and still is, so hard to accept that mum is gone.

“It breaks my heart that she never got to see her new grandson and enjoy a life with my dad that they’d worked so hard for since coming to England.”

Despite their loss, Sunni and her family continue to work within the community, running three convenience stores and working with local and international businesses on various projects.

This year they have already held a well-established annual charity football tournament in conjunction with Sheffield United Football Club. This year, the tournament raised funds for Weston Park Hospital’s Cancer Charity in Surinder’s memory.

Sunni is now getting set to take part in the charity’s Run in the Park event on July 12 to raise even more money for the cause.

RUN IN THE PARK

To honour Surinder Singh’s memory, daughter Sunni Bains is getting ready to don her trainers for Weston Park Hospital’s Cancer Charity.

Sunni will take part in Run in the Park to support the specialist cancer hospital, where her mum was cared for during her final weeks.

She said she wants to raise as much money as she can as a tribute to her mum.

“I wanted more than anything to do something that would make my mum proud,” she said.

“Everyone at Weston Park Hospital was incredible with her and I just want to give something back to say a big, big thank you for all they did during her final weeks.”

Now in its seventh year, Run in the Park welcomes participants of all ages and abilities to take on either a 3k fun run or 10k race through Graves Park, Sheffield.

The event, which last year saw over 900 people attend, has raised over £250,000 since it first began and each year attracts more runners wanting to raise money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

Community fundraiser Lucy King said: “We are incredibly grateful to Sunni, who, despite her recent loss, is joining us at this years Run in the Park to help support the cancer charity and hospital in any way she can.

“The event is a great way for people across the region to come together and raise funds for a common cause which will ultimately help transform cancer services for patients right across our region.

“Whether it’s in memory of a loved one or the chance to step out for a brighter future for those fighting cancer, we want beginners and experienced runners alike to join us for this family day out.”

The cancer charity needs to raise over £1.8 million this year to fund a wide range of projects that will keep Weston Park Hospital at the forefront of cancer treatment.

To register for Run in the Park, visit www.runinthepark.org.uk or call 0114 2265370.