A MOTHER-of-three has been given a national award for her tireless fundraising for cancer sufferers.
Ann Sandeman, 40, scooped a Special Commendation in the Ambassador of the Year accolade at the annual Flame of Hope Awards ceremony, hosted by Cancer Research UK.
She was given the award as a surprise during the Pretty in Pink Ball at Azur, Marina Pavilion, in St Leonards, which she and her husband Paul organised on July 2.
The presentation was announced by town crier John Bartholomew and made by Rod Bailey, manager of the Bexhill Cancer Research UK shop, fundraiser and family friend.
Mrs Sandeman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 while pregnant with her third child.
Although she was successfully treated and went on to have a healthy boy, Ben, her cancer returned last year in the form of a tumour which had wrapped itself around the blood vessels of her heart.
But she continued to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. Even in the midst of treatment, she took the brave decision to take part in a TV advert for the charity last year.
Mrs Sandeman said: “I had no idea the award was coming and for once in my life I was speechless. The ball was an amazing event and receiving the award made it all the more special. I feel very grateful to have been given it.”
Her fundraiser at Azur collected more than £10,000, to be split between Cancer Research UK, St Michael’s Hospice and Friends Thru Cancer.
Mr Bailey said: “Ann is totally fearless when it comes to speaking out about her own experience, encouraging other women to get involved in Race for Life and has instigated many of her own fundraising ventures.
“Her bravery and her down-to-earth attitude is humbling to witness and she is a superb role model for her children.
“Ann has been quietly organising or participating in fundraising activities and all this has been done in between gruelling, often painful and exhausting treatment and, of course, looking after her three beautiful little children, Hannah, Emma and Ben.”
Pictured: Ann with husband
Paul and Rod Bailey