local TikTok Influencer
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Showcasing the authentic side of social media is a local TikTok influencer who is saying ‘no’ to hiding very real battles—like hers—with cancer. Sharney Blackway has turned her social presence into a place of truth, hope and determination!


Boksburg, South Africa (08 September 2023) — For all its memes relatable videos, outfit inspirations and tabs on others’ happenings, social media is still (more often than not) a big showcase of life’s highlights. And glow-ups. And moments of value that have led many users to feel their lives offline don’t compare to that of people they know, or random strangers they’ll never meet. However, a local TikTok influencer is on another side of social media—the authentic side that says ‘it’s okay to have battles’, let’s get through them together.

Sharney Blackway is a 28-year-old from Boksburg who never thought that in the prime of her life, she’d receive the news “Mrs Blackway, you have cancer.”

A mother to a toddler, married to her high school sweetheart and hustling multiple jobs (from minimum wage to hair styling and content creation), Sharney had reached a point in life she dubs ‘the pinnacle’. Her hard work was paying off and her family had just realised a dream of renovating their home. Beyond this, her focus on her health had paved the way for her to educate others by sharing her weight loss journey.

Then she started to feel discomfort that began with left breast tenderness.

She was told it was a fibroadenoma and was prescribed pain medication. But the pain didn’t let up.

“By the end of September, I had an ultrasound, a mammogram and an external biopsy, the results were all negative, I was convinced I was insane. The discomfort somewhat subsided at gym, and our wedding anniversary celebrations resulted in reduced gym sessions. With immense pain it took everything to return to the GP, who again looked agitated by my request and plea for a referral to have the lump removed,” shares Sharney.

Eventually after several medical examinations, January 2023 came around when she and her husband got the news—it was cancer; stage 2 triple negative breast cancer at that.

“My husband and I sobbed. We couldn’t believe it. I was told I needed two immediate surgical operations the next day—a chemo pod insertion and another biopsy. I was numb, and this was not part of our financial or emotional plans, especially since my daughter had just started school,” she adds.

Sharney accepted the battle into her life and turned to TikTok to normalise things other cancer patients experience. Instead of ‘pack a suitcase for an elaborate trip’ as many influencers post, Sharney shared packing her hospital bag, and her chemo journey, and hospital dessert reviews.

Her mission now is to educate young people who have cancer, to encourage the perseverance that has gotten her this far and to normalise the parts of life that may not be a highlight reel but might help someone else feel less alone.

Sharney completed chemo in August and continues to share her authenticity on social media. She also has a crowdfund going to support her medical bills since she can no longer work overtime or work for extra income.

She recently completed a double mastectomy, followed by six weeks of radiation (25 sessions). Her husband will also face salary cuts as he won’t be able to work overtime due to accompanying her. You can help her add a new segment to her life—beating cancer—here, and draw some strength of your own from her journey should you or someone you know be going through the same, here.

Sources: Backabuddy; @sharneyblackway
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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