Fundraiser was told she had five years left... six years ago

Pictured: Pinky Sidhu, Johnathon Busse of the Star and Garter & Helen Sabin.
Pictured: Pinky Sidhu, Johnathon Busse of the Star and Garter & Helen Sabin.

A mother-of-two from Leamington who has a rare life-limiting illness is being helped by a close friend in raising money and awareness towards a cure.

Helen Sabin, 44, suffered from collapsed lungs six years ago and was told to seek medical advice by her father who is a retired GP.

She was diagnosed with lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM for short, - a disease which affects only about 150 women of childbearing age in the UK - and was given five years to live by doctors.

Mrs Sabin said: “It was horrendous because I had two young children and my mother was also very poorly with a lung disease. I found it very traumatic but I had so much support from LAM Action and that’s why I ended up joining the committee. The charity made me realise there are women out there who have had LAM for a longer time than I was given.”

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis causes abnormal, muscle-like cells to begin to grow out of control in certain organs or tissues, especially the lungs, lymph nodes, and kidneys.

Over time, these cells can destroy the normal lung tissue and, as a result, air cannot move freely in and out of the lungs. In some cases, this means the lungs can’t supply the body’s other organs with enough oxygen.

Since the diagnosis, Mrs Sabin has been able to control the progression of the disease by taking the medication sirolimus. But she is unable to walk any great distances, she can no longer run and is she is no longer able to play netball like she did before.

Mrs Sabin said: “There are some things I can’t do but because I am a positive person I concentrate on what I am able to do.

“A lot of patients can feel restricted from having to carry an oxygen bottle around like I do - I hate it but it helps me to do the things I would not be able to do otherwise.”

Mr Sabin’s friend Pinky Sidhu has arranged a glamorous Royal Ascot race day in aid of LAM Action at the Star and Garter pub in Leamington on Friday June 20. The event will include live music from Tom Kilpatrick and Sinead, a gourmet buffet lunch and bookie’s runner to help guests place bets on the races shown on a big screen. Mrs Sabin said: “Pinky is phenomenal, she is very caring and supportive.”

Tickets cost £35.

Call 07581 173817 or email