Westwood Park Actress – Susan Hannays-Abraham, battles lymphoma with the help of her friends

Originally published in the T&T Guardian (09/10/2016)

Susan Hannays-Abraham
Susan Hannays-Abraham

Actress Susan Hannays-Abraham is widely known and loved for her roles as twins Vindra and Vashti, whom she portrayed on six seasons of Westwood Park (1997-2004). What may not be as widely known is that since 2011, SHA, as she is affectionately known, has been battling a type of cancer called follicular lymphoma.

A group of friends and former coworkers, known as Friends of SHA, have come together to host a fundraiser to offset her treatment costs and living expenses in Canada, where she goes every three to six months for treatment and checkups. The fundraiser, which will take the form of a back-in-times party, will be held on November 5 at the Chamber of Commerce in Westmoorings.

Committee member Lisa Villanueva, who has been friends with Hannays-Abraham for over 15 years, said they met when they were both working at AMPLE Advertising, and there was no going back. “She became one of my best friends, my liming partner, my confidante.” Villanueva introduced Hannays-Abraham to Fareeda Hosein and Natasha Laban-Britain, when they began working together at Print on Demand.

Hosein said Hannays-Abraham had the kind of bubbly personality that drew people to her, and described her as a dear friend and media colleague, as well as a part-time staff member. “I remember going out with her and people would come up and ask her for her autograph, and we would be like, “we didn’t know we were hanging out with a movie star.”

Villanueva said the committee came up with many ideas about the form the fund-raising effort would take before making a final decision. “We wanted something more in sync with Susan’s personality, something where everybody could come together, get together, socialize, catch up on old times, dance, sing, have a good time, so we decided on a back in times party, and the response has been overwhelming.”

She said the idea has grown tremendously, and expanded to include performances by Mavis John, 3 Canal, Penelope Spencer and possibly other artists, with Sharon Pitt as emcee. In addition, there will be two silent auctions of a painting by Margaret Sheppard and a solid teak furniture piece donated by Anthony Hosein of Prestige Improvements Limited in Arima.

Hannays-Abraham also acted in Flight of the Ibis (1996)The Ghost of Hing King Estate (2009) and Doubles with Slight Pepper (2011) as well as numerous plays. She won four Cacique Awards for her stage performances in The Killing of Sister George, Bedside Manners, The Odd Couple and Most Outstanding Actress for her role in Derek Walcott’s play, Beef No Chicken.

Susan Hannays-Abraham as Sumintra in Doubles with Slight Pepper | Photo credit: Elizabeth Harnarine
Susan Hannays-Abraham as Sumintra in Doubles with Slight Pepper | Photo credit: Elizabeth Harnarine

Laban-Britain said she hoped that the people Hannays-Abraham worked with in her 25-plus years in theatre and film would turn out to support this event. She said the committee is grateful for the support which has been extended so far and hope for more to come.

The fundraiser will be held on Saturday 5th November from 5pm to 10 pm at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Columbus Circle, Westmoorings. The $250 ticket price will be inclusive of complimentary drinks and food, live performances, and back in times music from a popular DJ.

Tickets are curently on sale and can be purchased from Lisa Villanueva at Print on Demand, #79 Tragarete Road, Woodbrook,

For more info: Call 622-5627, 682-0596 or email lisavpod@gmail.com.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s