Former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has revealed how his wife is battling a condition which she has found ‘worse than cancer’.
Following a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, Neil has opened up about how Sharon was diagnosed with the debilitating Lymphoedema.
He said: “It’s always something she worried about; she thought Lymphoedema was worse than the breast cancer itself. She couldn’t just put any clothes on, she couldn’t get a sleeve over. She was really down at that time.”
The little-known condition is common in those who have received cancer treatment, due to damage caused to the lymphatic system during treatment, especially those who have suffered breast cancer.
The condition causes fluid retention and tissue swelling, often seen in the arms and legs, causing sufferers limbs to swell to up the three times their usual size.
Neil has spoken out about how the condition, which is incurable, had a profound effect on Sharon’s quality of life.
The condition, in Sharon’s arm, affects simple choices such as putting on clothes and finding sleeves that fit — tasks that many of us take for granted.
Neil described the experience as a “black hole” for the family, particularly as they were not aware of any solution to help improve Sharon’s quality of life due to the limited information available surrounding the condition.
“We weren’t aware at that time, the sort of treatment and the machines that could help. It seemed like a black hole we were in at that moment.”
Sharon has now been using a home treatment which massages the affected areas and has been helping her lead a normal life.
Neil, who was appointed as manager of his boyhood club Sheffield United in December 1999 and led the club to the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup, is calling for greater awareness of Lymphoedema.