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Woman struggles with cancer, pneumonia and being homeless in Sacramento | News

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Woman struggles with cancer, pneumonia and being homeless in Sacramento

When the sun comes out, Susan Sheadle gets up, still tired.

She gathers her things on her wheelchair and searches for food and a bathroom. "The restrooms is a big issue when it's cold 'cause you don't want to get up and run into the bushes," Sheadle said. "It's just too cold."

Then she looks for a place to rest, especially after the last few nights.

Friday night, she heard Sacramento police cracked down on protesters in front of city hall, arresting four and citing three. Demonstrators were trying to call attention to a city ordinance that prohibits camping on public property. Susan was trying to stay out of the way.

"I'm watching through here and you could hear everything," Sheadle said. "Four people went to jail."

She has terminal cancer and wants no trouble with the law, but wishes police would stop waking her up to move her. Most recently, she said they kicked her out when she was trying to sleep close to a hotel downtown.

"People started complaining, if they complain then they come," Sheadle said. "A lady said: 'you don't belong out here'."

The protesters want the city to repeal the ordinance.

"The city will take action if the people in the city say: 'this is ridiculous that right now what we're doing is arresting homeless people,'" Mark E. Merin, an attorney representing the homeless, said. "We should instead be saving our money and providing a place for them to be."

That's all Susan wants. She said her efforts to get into a shelter have failed.

"They're full," she said

Last week she had enough money to spend a few nights at a motel.

"It's like heaven," Sheadle said. "When I get a place I want to make my bed into a shrine. I'm so grateful." But when her money ran out she went back on the streets, where she appreciates the generosity of strangers that make her days a little easier.

"I was praying to God: 'please, you know, help me find shoes," Sheadle said. "(A woman said) 'would you be interested in a pair of tennis shoes?' I thought to buy them and she goes: 'no, they're free.' I said: 'Oh, thank you, God'."

Her illness and approaching winter storms make her future even more uncertain and scary.

"I'm getting real tired and I'm scared for it to rain," Sheadle said. "I had pneumonia and it came back again. It's just so tiring."

While those who still have the energy said they won't stop protesting until the city repeals the ordinance.