Mum, Please Help Me Die
WHEN CANCER MEETS LOVE
Shirley Cameron struggles with depression, feelings of rejection and a sense of unworthiness. Living in the UK, far away from her Christian family in South Africa, she finds herself in and out of relationships and struggling with her faith. If God loves her, then why do so many things close to her heart seem to get taken away? So when she is diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer), she at first concludes it is a punishment from God, that she hasn’t performed well enough.
But then God’s love begins to invade her life, through the support of her parents and a band of faithful Christian friends at her local church. Shirley is covered in prayer both at home and at healing meetings, until friends can soon sense the tangible presence of God around her whenever they visit. As her body becomes increasingly sick and the cancer steals one thing after another that she has held dear, God gradually works an emotional healing in Shirley that leads to her finally acknowledging again and again, “I’m so happy…”
…an emotional roller-coaster that will leave you breathless, and tearful, but also full of hope.
About the Author
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Thy grew up on a small farm in a church-going family. She always wanted to teach and completed a BA (Bachelor of Arts) and teaching diploma in South Africa and a Masters and doctorate online with Regent University, a Christian university in Virginia Beach USA. She loved being a radio journalist for a Christian radio station and produced and presented various programmes for 17 years.
As a little girl, Thy loved her mother’s garden, especially at sunset. Her relationship with God began when she marveled at a rose called ‘Peace’ and decided whoever made it must be wonderful. Over the years the most difficult times were the most precious. That was when God molded and shaped her faith.
During a recent visit to St Matthew's, Reading, author Thy Cameron shared her daughter's powerful story of holding onto her faith when faced with cancer. On the 19th of May, the congregation were able to hear about the many trials, and joys that Thy's daughter...read more
Endorsements and Reviews
Dr. Karen Cerff, COO: Transformational Leadership Institute
Thy skilfully tells a gripping story that is far more, because the story is an intensely personal, vulnerable reality with a powerful, moving and multi-faceted message. Nothing can prepare the reader for the impact of the profound loss, yet remarkable victories that unfold. I could not put the book down until I’d read the last page.
A thousand emotions and tears of sadness and joy later, I finished reading this most unusually tender book… What an amazing tribute to a beautiful, most courageous girl and a faithful pursuing saviour. Thank you, Thy, for sharing this with the world.
Dr. Karen Cerff
COO: Transformational Leadership Institute
Rev. Dan Hayward, Rector, St Andrew’s Church, Oxford
…This book gives a searingly honest account of Shirley’s less-than-perfect life and, in particular, her struggle with suffering. She prayed for healing, but God had a deeper healing in mind than physical recovery from cancer.
I count it a privilege to have known Shirley and to have seen a transformation that can only come from the same power that raised Christ from the dead. It is wonderful that even after her death this story can be told by her grieving mother in such a compelling manner.
Rev. Dan Hayward
Rector, St Andrew’s Church, Oxford
Prof. William F. Cox, Jr. Christian Education Programs, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA
This exquisitely written narrative reaches the depths of both the tragedy of a life cut short and the bottomless love of the saviour. Reader, be ready to experience for yourself a wide range of ultimately beautiful emotions on the pathway to eternal ecstasy with the Lord.
Prof. William F. Cox, Jr.
Christian Education Programs, School of Education, Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA
Rt. Rev. Frank, Retief Retired Presiding Bishop of CESA, now operating as REACH SA
This poignant and moving story will take you on an emotional roller-coaster that will leave you breathless, and tearful, but also full of hope. It is the account of a young woman’s struggle to trust God and how faith returns when all the odds are stacked against it.
While it is the account of a parent’s worst nightmare, that of losing their only child to cancer at the age of thirty-nine, it is a bigger story than that. It must have cost Thy a great deal to tell it. How grateful we are to her for an excellent book.
Thy has a rare gift in writing. She uses words in such a way that the reader is dragged into each moment and feels every pang of hurt or movement of hope. The story ends on a magnificent note of hope. This hope would have been impossible if Christ, his cross and resurrection were not real. Thy captures the struggles of believing this great truth and places us firmly in the presence of Jesus and at the foot of the cross.
Rt. Rev. Frank Retief
Retired Presiding Bishop of CESA, now operating as REACH SA
Katie Cartwright, Wife, mother, consultant researcher, with MAs from Oxford and Cape Town Universities and a diploma in freelance and feature writing
Thy’s beautifully written and searingly honest book struck a chord with me on many levels. As a mother, daughter, Christian, and as someone who has struggled with a serious disease, I found that Shirley’s journey from emotional torment to deep spiritual peace made me want to find that peace for myself, for now and for always.
But it is in Thy’s depiction of Shirley’s growing understanding that God loves her that my heart soared. Shirley changes from someone who feels she can’t please God and needs to perform in order for him to love her, to someone who has experienced, tangibly, God’s presence, and knows that she doesn’t need to do anything for him to love her; that his love is unconditional. That knowledge, and the trust it engenders, is utterly beautiful. In Shirley’s case, as Thy writes, God has been knocking on her heart for a lifetime, but “cancer turns the key”. I put the book down wanting to keep my heart open every day, and to remember always that God loves me – as his daughter, unconditionally.
Wife, mother, consultant researcher, with MAs from Oxford and Cape Town Universities and a diploma in freelance and feature writing
Marzanne Leroux-van Der Boon, Experienced popular writer of Christian historical fiction
Because I have a daughter too and have witnessed some of Thy’s immense suffering, I found it really hard to get down to reading this book. While it addresses so many issues very relevant to modern life, in me it stirred deep emotion. Times without number – when I could at last speak to God again – I whispered, “Why so much? Why like this? Why allow hope when you knew you would take it away?” At times I wondered if I would ever again believe he heals.
What was I left with, that last late night when I had finished reading? Strangely, one thing only: that his name is “I will be what I will be”. My mind floundered, but my very bones knew he is the Eternal, he is my Father, I want no other.
I cannot find words to speak of what I experienced. This book is so relevant, so powerful…
Marzanne Leroux-van Der Boon
Experienced popular writer of Christian historical fiction set in modern-day Israel
…nothing can prepare the reader for the impact of the profound loss, yet remarkable victories that unfold.
Dr. Karen Cerff
COO: Transformational Leadership Institute