World Darts Championship ace Sherrock has distressing illness but eyes glory

Michael Van Gerwen previews World Darts Championship

Fallon Sherrock, who has been battling an underlying illness for almost 10 years, is bidding to become the first-ever female winner of the World Darts Championship. She is one of the most recognisable faces on the Tour but Sherrock has faced vile online abuse throughout her career after suffering a kidney issue.

Sherrock takes on Jermaine Wattimena in the first round of the championship on Sunday, almost a decade on from being diagnosed with a kidney disease. After giving birth to her son Rory, side-effects of the medication for her condition made her face swell up and led to abuse on social media as a budding darts star.

She has had to remove some of the contacts from her phone as a result of the abuse, and has now shone a light on the effort it takes behind the scenes to play professionally while managing a kidney issue.

โ€œI’m still getting it now,โ€ she told the Daily Star when asked about abuse on social media. โ€œAnd you learn that people who you thought were your friends aren’t your friends after all, so I’ve only got a handful of friends now.

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โ€œAnd I’m still having to manage the illness. My kidneys are only working to 23 per cent of their capacity and I have to maintain them at that level because if it went down to 15 per cent, you’re looking at dialysis. I used to have medication lined up in a row of bottles, but now I’m just on calcium tablets for my bones, sodium tablets for my kidneys โ€“ about three per day. I also need an injection once a week which is self-administered, plus a blood transfusion every six months or so to keep the iron levels up.

โ€œIf you saw how much water I drink every day, I probably drink more than I should, but I don’t think people realise how tired I get. I can be busy, busy, busy for four or five days on the trot, but as soon as I stop, that’s me done โ€“ I’m wiped out for a week.โ€

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Sherrock can often be seen drinking water when on stage at the World Championship in order to flush her kidneys out. The condition has swelled up her face previously, but medication has since reduced that effect.

Despite the daily work it takes to combat her illness, Sherrock has put the effort in to continue as one of the leading female darts players. Her fame now leads her to more positive fan interactions, including getting stopped on the street to autograph a fake hand.

โ€œI get stopped in the street all the time now,โ€ she added. โ€œI was asked to sign someone’s till receipt in Asda the other day when I was out doing a food shop. I’ve also signed a fake hand โ€“ I hope it was like one from the joke shop and not a real prosthetic hand โ€“ but the funniest one was a blow-up banana. I get asked to sign all the blow-up toys by the pool on holiday.”

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