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‘Nanny Angels’ help single mother with cancer care for 4-year-old son

Abeer Salim is fighting for her life. A single mother in the late stages of terminal cancer, she says her treatments and chemotherapy often leave her so drained that she cannot get out of bed, let alone do the one thing the brightens her day the most — play with her young son.

For months now, she has relied on friends to watch four-year-old Mohamed as she battles to reclaim her health. But like many who juggle the roles of young mother and cancer patient, she has found her energy can only take her so far.

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‘Nanny angel’ program takes childcare burden off moms battling cancer

 

Abeer Salim doesn’t need a guardian angel when she has a nanny angel looking after her.

The 42-year-old single mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 when her son Mohamed was 19 weeks old. After enduring a long waiting list, she underwent surgery at Sunnybrook Hospital, a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy over the next year.

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Nanny Angel Network founder developed idea from own breast cancer challenges

Idea for the organization began in treatment waiting room

Audrey Guth remembers sitting outside of a treatment waiting area and watching a mother with her two-year-old climb all over her. The kid was tugging at a scarf that was concealing the woman’s baldness underneath from chemotherapy treatments.

“I could just see the angst in her face and I thought to myself, ‘Me or my friends are going to get breast cancer, that’s just the statistics,’ and it happened to be me,” she said. “What can I do to make sense of this really random act of unkindness? She could never think of ever having a nanny, because most people look at it as a luxury, but I also knew nannies who really wanted to give back to the community.”

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