Help a Half-Asian, Half-White Girl Needing Life-Saving Surgery

Shameme Adams
Meet Shameme, a half-Asian/half-white English girl who needs your help

Instead of my usual Friday content, I’m running something a little different today. This post represents a promise I made long ago, that I would help a dear reader in need. So here goes:

Meet Shameme Adams. She’s a half-Asian, half-white English girl who loves silk brocade, has a puppet named Clifford, dreams of traveling to China someday, and desperately needs an operation that could save her life.

I first came to know Shameme by one of those lost arts in this day and age — a handwritten letter she sent to me out of the blue. Well, let me say she touched me with her spirit and optimism, not to mention the courage it takes to reach out to someone you don’t know and write such a heartwarming letter as she did. She also told me the story of her condition:

I sadly was born with a muscle disease in my legs and this made my legs stiff and weak and so once I got more mobile I would really struggle. In time all this struggling caused my spine to curve and twist — a condition called scoliosis. It’s been neglected in England (despite being under 3 different hospitals) and when my current spine surgeon said if I didn’t have surgery it would eventually claim my life I decided I HAD to do something and so looked online at Doctors elsewhere. I was looking for help further afield namely America and after a couple of setbacks found an excellent one in New York. I had to have money raised to go over there and I did a lot of fighting and battling. I saw him in New York at the end of June [2011] and he was a lovely person (just as I’d imagined) and he can help me but it will be a lot of money. You see although he’s prepared to do the operation for free the hospital would still need paying.

She explained to me that, if left untreated, scoliosis causes serious problems such as heart issues and chest infections. She’s had chest infections so terrible that once she didn’t know if she had the will to make it through. But she has and she still continues to fight. As she also said, “I just keep up hope and positivity.”

In such a difficult year for John and I, Shameme often reminded me that sometimes we all must soldier on even as we face some of the most seemingly insurmountable challenges. She still sends me e-mails bubbling over with smileys, jokes and the kind of great spirit that you don’t often find in even the healthiest of people, despite the grave uncertainty ahead of her. Shameme truly inspires me, and I’d like to see her around for a little while longer.

So I’m asking you to pledge your support to Shameme in some way, and it doesn’t have to be money, either. Join her Facebook Group. If you know someone who could help her, consider getting in touch with her via the Facebook Group. Spread her story to people who might support. Whatever you can do, she’ll thank you for it — and hopefully live long enough to finally visit the China she always dreamed of. 🙂

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34 Replies to “Help a Half-Asian, Half-White Girl Needing Life-Saving Surgery”

  1. Is anyone else getting red flags here? Maybe it’s just because (a) I’m getting a graduate degree in medicine and (b) I’m American who’s also studied in England, but…yeah. I smell a con.

    1) Scoliosis is NOT a life-threatening illness. In extreme cases, it can make it difficult for the patient’s heart and lungs to function, but even then it doesn’t result in cardio or pulmonary fallure.

    2) It is extremely rare for an American surgeon to do a surgery pro bono. And by “extremely rare” I mean “more people wake up with unexplained blue hair in the morning.” Even if a surgeon would like to, it is very, very hard for the hospital administrators to sign off on it for tax and liability reasons. This is particularly true when foreigners are involved.

    3) The NHS has its issues (*cough*mentalhealth*cough*), but it’s really quite functional — especially when you compare it to America. It’s particularly good where severly disabling and life-threatening conditions are concerned. I asked a friend of mine in Oxford about this, and they said NHS covers treatment for both children and adults. Moreover, they do so completely free of charge and they don’t cherry pick patients they way American surgeons are increasingly encouraged to do.

    1. Rude, insensitive, uncaring. A graduate degree in medicine? And what exactly is that? Not an M.D., right? An M.D. would mean you’d be seeing patients. And how unfortunate that would be for anyone to have to put their trust and health in the hands of a pretentious, arrogant pseudo-intellectual such as yourself. Shame on you, and all the commenters on here throwing out damaging words and phrases like “red flags” and “scammer”. This article is about a real person with a health condition who needs help. Sadly all she has succeeded in getting is a pack of mouthy trolls.

  2. Gargh, hit return before I was done editing.

    3.5) But even then I don’t believe a surgeon would do a surgery for free. I’ve really never heard of it unless it came with extensive news coverage or it was for research. It’s just not how American surgeons roll. They really are medicine’s cowboys and they become surgeons in large part because they don’t really want to interact with patients. (They’re much like epidemiologists — what I am — that way.)

    But yeah. IME, if it smells fishy, it probably is.

  3. Egad, what’s up with my keyboard today?

    I also forgot to explain that you usually just can’t “do a surgery for free” at an American hospital because surgeons are usually salaried employees. So he’s getting paid no matter what, regardless of who he’s operating on.

    I can just go on and on about how off this is. But I think I’ll stop here.

  4. Just a minor request for editing. How can someone be half-white (in title) or half-white English, but then be half Chinese?

    A person born in China with a Chinese passport is Chinese (no matter what color). A person who is Chinese ethnically is not yellow or brown.

    And to juxtapose a nationality or ethnicity (“half-Chinese”) with a color (half – WHITE) just doesn’t set well grammatically, logically, and … well, either reduces Chinese ethnicity to a color, or reduces being English to a color.

  5. I checked the facebook group and apparently you need account to join the group, which I don’t have and don’t wish to have. But I want to help.

  6. @Ordinary Malaysian: Because people use the Internet to con good people out of money. All.The.Time. And because there are people who really DO need the money — particularly people in America (and China) who don’t have insurance.

    @James: When it comes to race, you choose your own label, especially if you’re outside your country’s norm.

    1. Iv met this girl today I bought some household items from her that she was selling on fb she’s real if u want to cone to England halifax il go with u to her house then after your don’t that then type your crap

  7. @C, but maybe this girl is genuine?. You can’t know her and her story. Have you received “healthcare” in ENGLAND?, I have friends who have and they sure wouldn’t go back again!. Maybe she has more faith in America?. Thanks for ruining it for her!.

    @James This girl doesn’t look English to me either but maybe she is by nationality?. She’s half Chinese I’m guessing.

  8. Umm. For the record. This is no scam. I met shameme back in june of ’11 and I know her story. Im a manager at the hotel where she stayed while visiting her doctor in nyc. So all of you doubting her can stop now. She needs all the help she can get. She is in desperate need. And everyones concern is ethnicity? Come on.

  9. I met Shameme through fb a few years ago. She is a very positive, kind person. She’s never asked me for money, she was reluctant to even tell me her story. If she’s trying to scam me, she sure is bad at it. Just accept it for what it is, a girl who wants to feel better and is just asking for your support…and not even financial support, at that.

  10. hmmm i know her…have her as my budy on fb…and shes no scamster she luves to talk nd is rly funy! If i didnt hv colg i would hv been talking to her al day…u cant judge ny1 unles u know them so stop relegations be the support or let it skip dnt make her sad by caling her scamster…

  11. Good to hear I was right, she just doesn’t look like a scammer does she?. I think she wants the money sending to the hospital anyway…..scammers ALWAYS do that!. All I can say is poor Shameme!. I hope she’s not doubted anymore.

  12. Sounds a bit odd to me too. Especially all of these comments coming from people who “know” her. She doesn’t “look like a scammer?” Come on… Is there anything that particularly makes this look legit?

    I’m sure you would all agree that Jocelyn is a kind and caring person. So is my mother, but that doesn’t stop her from forwarding me ridiculous conspiracy theory emails that she unfortunately buys into.

  13. @: Jing’s girlfriend, there’s nothing odd about appealing for help if you have an illness and can be treated by a Doctor from abroad but to do this costs money and you’re poor. You could argue it’s wrong that she (and people like her) even have to do it in the first place. We can’t know and we should give this girl the benefit of the doubt. As for Justin Bieber, that proves nothing!, infact if anything it backs her story up even more. Avalanna Routh…sick, wanted to meet him.. She sounds quite normal to me!.

  14. Yes, we can’t know for sure and that’s why we have to look at the information presented and make the best decision we can. Her website is incredibly vague. I find that when people have medical conditions, they normally address things using proper medical terms. Instead, she uses words like, muscle disease and chest infections. Sure, most people when talking about their condition will also use terms we understand, but that’s usually after they explain things using correct medical terms. We’re also lacking information like her proposed surgery, name of her surgeon, and amount that she is trying to raise.

    Another thing that seems to be missing from her Facebook group is support of family and friends. Where are the people that know this girl in person? Does she not have family and close friends? Where’s the information on current treatments or problems? Current fundraisers? Pictures?

    The Justin Bieber thing seems strange to me because if I were in this situation, I would probably be focusing all of my effort into one cause, not off spamming random websites about my wish to meet Justin Bieber.

    Is it possible that this is legit? Well, anything is possible. But to give people (strangers even) asking for money the benefit of the doubt? I think that’s extremely naive to be frank. Anybody can make a group of facebook and post a story. Again, I’ll ask the question. What makes this girl seem legit?

  15. I have to agree with C, that something is questionable here. The British NHS considers surgical correction a standard response to scoliosis, as evidenced by the link in point 3. If Shamene needs money to fly to America for treatment, I’d be curious to have her explain why the NHS’s options are not acceptable for her.

    If this was real, I’d also advise her to reach to SAUK, Scoliosis Association UK. They’re active in patient rights and if the NHS is in fact preventing her from getting treatment, they would likely be active on her behalf.

    Finally as someone who spent ten years working for a hospital (you’ll have to take my word of course), many of the disease related fundraising scams are for attention, not money. The fundamental issue is some level of histrionic personality disorder. It starts off with the care page to get attention, then the fundraising drive, and finally the fake updates on the surgery and progress moving forward. Often it will be based in some kind of reality, but the person will turn a standard outpatient procedure or therapy regime into something that sounds as difficult as the world’s first heart transplant.

    At the end of the day, you’re all adults and its your money. So do as you will with it. If Shamene happens to read this, I’d suggest she reach out to SAUK and have their regional rep endorse her efforts. It will expand her fundraising network and give her a stamp of legitimacy, which you need these days on the internet.

  16. A quick scan of her Twitter feed shows her saying Dr. Baojie-Adjei is the doctor in question who she says will do this for free ( If someone wants to they could contact him to confirm the veracity of this. The cynic in me thinks she just pulled this guy’s name because he is top in the field and did a stint as President of SRS, so his name was easy to find.

    More importantly, HSS, where he works, has a standardized channel for helping those without insurance obtain their services. I question why she’d be doing this freelance instead under their aegis.

    After reading the Twitter (!/shamemeadams) I’m firmly with C on the red flags. Her response to Jocelyn’s article is to use it something she tweets to Bieber in an attempt to meet him. There seems to be no focus on fundraising to deal with the condition, just a focus to turn this into some kind of Make A Wish meeting with Bieber.

  17. I only hope Shameme is NOT reading this as she will be very hurt about all the allegations (which are totally unfounded) that have been written about her. She already has the misfortune to have a dreadful illness that’s caused her serious chest infections and pain, been let down in her country of birth, then when she tries to raise money for surgery she’s made out to be a lunatic!. Search your sould for some compassion!. Maybe the NHS won’t treat her, can’t, I don’t know but she has a wish to be treated in America and we should be doing all we can to help her.

  18. I have checked all this out and her story is TRUE!. How do you all feel now?. Yes she tweeted this to Justin…but, incase you hadn’t noticed, Justin Bieber is a rich young man!, he could help her. She probalay needed some affection and comfort and looks upto him. I hope both her wishes come true.

  19. I think “ChinaRules” and Shameme would get along great.
    I still wonder if Jocelyn is holding onto other information. Any further insight would be great.

  20. @JingsGirlfriend: I’d imagine an IP check of some of the posters here might reveal an interesting cluster of geolocations, if not the same ones.

  21. This is me (the girl in the photo)-Shameme Adams and I just want to say that I AM genuine. My surgeon is as Allen correctly traced a Dr Boachie-Adjei (feel free to check it out) and I have done this because the NHS in England have badly let me down. My Mum took me at 6 years old (she spotted a lump as she was bathing me one night) and even then the Dr denied there was anything wrong. Convined there WAS something wrong she took me to another one who confirmed I was starting with a curvature. I was under a Professor Dixon (feel free to check this out too) between the ages of 6-13, during which time they did x-rays and talked of an operation when I got older-it never happened. When going back to see Professor Dixon he insulted my name (as it is Asian) and refused to treat me saying it wouldn’t affect me medically. It was lies. I have suffered pain and the most dreadful chest infections and no-one in England can help me. I found Dr Boachie online and went to see him a year ago (came back on Independence Day). He can help me but the hospital (HSS in Manhattan, New York) will need paying. He does do surgery for free but mainly in Africa (he will make an exception in this case). As for what has been written about me I’m hurt yes, but haven’t taken it personally, I know people are just worried about being scammed out of money but I admit it does make it a LOT harder when no-one will believe you. As for Justin Bieber yes I do have a dream (along with many others like seeing China, knitting my patch blanket etc.) to meet him. Whenever times have been hard the messages he sends out such as #BELIEVE and #NEVERSAYNEVER have inspired me and helped me a lot. His own story is incredible and he seems a lovely person. I have such challenges ahead of me and it’s nice to have something to work toward. I have to have some fun things too, surely you understand that. To the person who asked if I had any family just one-my Mum who supports all of this fully. To the people who have said supportive things (Mirah, Stephanie etc)-THANK YOU!. I need this surgery so much and I still don’t regret letting Jocelyn put the piece up about me. Won’t give up on getting my surgery.

  22. I met Shameme via fb a few years ago after she had seen a story about my son Harry who has Progeria. Shameme is a lovely girl & took the time to write to Harry & sent him a gift along with his brother & sister.
    Despite her own illness she enjoys caring for others & has never asked for anything in return although we did send a thank you card & gift which is the polite thing to do.

    Good luck with everything Shameme & I hope one day you get the operation you deserve & your chance to meet your hero JB
    Keep fighting

  23. Shameme, I think you take the wrong route by posting persistently on Facebook and asking celebrities like Karen Brady to help you. It makes people rightfully think that you may not be real.

    Going abroad is a solution only for those conditions that cannot be treated in your own country. NHS is a FREE healthcare system, and it can help you. It may not be perfect, but you can get the treatment you need, if you are a legal UK citizen/resident.

    First of all, these Doctors you mention, are they orthopaedic surgeons (i.e. specialists in bone problems) or just GPs, the general family doctors you see locally? You need to persevere and

    1. ask to be referred to a hospital, and be seen by a proper orthopaedic surgeon.
    2. if they make fun of you, or if they don’t believe how much the condition affects your life, you should write to the media, the Channel 4 ‘Embarrassing bodies’ series, and to your local MP. You can also get free legal advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau about your rights (just google these terms for details).

    If you do all that, I’m sure you will be looked after and they will explain to you exactly what it needs to be done for your condition.

  24. @Viki, you are joking?, the embarrassing bodies series?, what are you trying to say, you are just insensitive and rude. I’ve done the MP route too. it’s NOT as easy as you think. Yes, I did approach Karren Brady and will continue to approach people until I reach a solution. You don’t have a shadow of a clue what I am going through. If you think so highly of the NHS then go on it but let me get to this brilliant surgeon in America. Tell your ideas to the relatives who lost their loved ones in Stafford Hospital, that’s your precious NHS for you. And yes, it’s free, because you don’t get anything!, I know I didn’t. Is Dr Boachie a G.P.?, I won’t dignify that with an answer, proves how much you understand about my situation. Leave me alone and don’t comment anymore on my illness/situation please. #THEU.S.FORSHAMEME

  25. spam from Shameme!!!!

    Well now I have finally got around to typing this email, I’m not too sure where to start!. But I guess by saying that a dream I have inspired me to write it. Now I know this dream is quite unusual……………but it exists and while my dreams exist I will always do what I can to make them come true. I believe we all should do this. Sometimes, when life gets hard (as it often does), having hope and my dreams are the only things that get me though. I must admit, I haven’t worked extremely hard at this particular dream, I’ve worked a little but there are so many obstacles to it. But nothing worth having is ever easy, so I need to press on and get working on it rather than just think about it. I am typing it on the 8th of February 2016. In China the number 8 is a very lucky number……so let’s hope it’s lucky for me!. I plan on sending this email to anyone who I feel may be-able to point me in the right direction and bring me closer to my dream. So anyway, here we go!!……

    My name is Shameme Adams and I am a young woman from Northern England. I live here in a small(ish) town called Halifax (NOT the one in Canada)!!……..I’d be nearer to my dream if it was! ????. I was brought up/raised by just my Mum and am an only child (which was GREAT-no brother(s) and/or sister(s) to hassle me)!!. My parents separated when I was only 3. I am dual heritage, my Father was Asian, my Mum English. I have brown eyes, black hair and a lightly tanned colored skin. I am tiny!!, very slim and petite. Some of my friends say I look like a little doll????. As for personality, I am sweet, sensitive, caring, loyal, adventurous, generous, persistent (when it comes to my dreams), chatty!, bubbly, positive, GSOH, affectionate and unique!. I am also a huge believer in fulfilling my dreams-which is why I’m here!. Most of them are travel-related, but I would also like to swim with dolphins ????, go for a ride in a hot air balloon , have a blanket box with my name on (fell inlove with blanket boxes ever since seeing the movie/film ‘Little Women’) and adopt one child. But this dream I think about so often.

    I can’t remember exactly when it was “born” but I can recall watching the reality programme ‘Teen Mom’ and that’s when I saw the (adorable) Tyler Baltierra who features in the show and thinking to myself, he’s so cute, I want to marry an American man! [?]. And that idea/thought…..well now dream, has stayed with me.

    Obviously, it is really difficult practically as there aren’t many Americans (men or women) around here!!. I know I would probably have had a better chance had I lived somewhere like London…..but I don’t. And so it is a real struggle to get to the 1st base-meeting that group of people. I have no problem with British guys!! [?], but it’s an American one I REALLY want![?]. One of the things I did in the beginning was contact a few people on Craigslist (won’t be doing that again)!!???? , then I would find a few randomly on Facebook…..not such a good idea in retrospect. I am also a member of a penpal type thing online and have tried to chat to some on there, but for one reason or another they just aren’t suitable/appropiate. A good few are not Americans, they are from other countries but just live there, some are married!, one guy was gay, then that leaves 2 that in their bios don’t actually sound like very nice people. So, I’ve reached a stumbling block ⏹ and am unsure where to go from here ????.

    I was thinking about it and decided to just send this email out to anyone and everyone and see if I got a bit further. There’s always magic in action. I also think ‘Ideas Won’t Work Unless You Do’. Is it possible you could help me in some way please?, you don’t know any single American who might be open to the idea?, even if I made a friend out of it it would be something and through it I could meet more Americans…..which may eventually lead to my dream being fulfilled. I find it hard to describe a type but fair(ish) hair and blue eyes, kind and caring and a MUST is a non-smoker!!, he has to be one of them???????? (sorry smokers)!. I am prepared to put the work in, this is not a flash in the pan thing. I know that I may have to email often ????????, chat on the phone ????and, eventually (if all that has gone well) fly to meet him!✈or he can fly to me ????(would be a nerve-racking but special time either way)! ????. But I just need the chance to find a suitable “candidate”!. I am a lovely girl and have so much to give ????, it’s a shame.

    So do help me if you can, even if it’s in a small way, it will be so much appreciated. I will go for now as I promised myself I wouldn’t drone on and on, didn’t want to bore you, but keep it short and sweet ????.

    Thank you so much for reading and hope
    for a positive outcome.

    Waiting in hope.



  26. @Bob

    The email you quote was never written by me, it contains some true facts but I never spammed about a “dream American man”! (not that narrow-minded)!. Where are you getting all this from?. And, even if it was true, does that make my illness and subsequent need for surgery untrue?. I can see no correlation between my dreams and my illness, can you?. You are sexist!.

    I am however still trying extremely hard to finally get my surgery in the United States and next month will travel to London where I will (hopefully) find a kind person to help me. I know I am genuine as do some of the posters on here who have met me and that’s all that matters.

  27. So, it’s six years after this post and I just received this same letter, same photo, same story from “her.” It’s a scam, guys.

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