‘Inspirational’ Hastings mum treated to surprise party by Kirstie Allsopp

Ann and two children are greeted by Kirstie Allsopp. Picture courtesy of Cancer Research UK
Ann and two children are greeted by Kirstie Allsopp. Picture courtesy of Cancer Research UK

A TV presenter treated a single mum battling cancer with a surprise tea party.

Location, Location, Location star, Kirstie Allsopp met Ann Sandeman, 45, of Hastings, surprising her and her children with a morning of tea, cake and crafts to recognise her bravery in the face of cancer.

Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 when pregnant with her third child. She underwent gruelling chemotherapy during her pregnancy and a year later, to the family’s delight, was given the news that she was clear of the disease.

Unfortunately, three years later and still having regular check-ups, Ann was told the devastating news her cancer had returned.

Ann has now undergone seven courses of chemotherapy, five courses of radiotherapy and has had six major surgeries.

Speaking of her diagnosis, Ann said: “I simply don’t have time to die. I have three children I want to see grow up. You have to deal with it.

“You have to be positive and you have to be strong because it’ll beat you mentally otherwise.

“I’ll fight - I’ll stay strong and I’ll fight until I draw my last breath. I have to. I’ve got too much to lose.”

She continues to live a full and happy life and regularly gives her time to raising awareness of cancer, taking part in several fundraising initiatives for Cancer Research UK.

Last year, Ann scooped the Ambassador of the Year accolade in the Cancer Research UK annual Flame of Hope Awards given for remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering.

A book has also been dedicated to Ann. She will feature in Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, written by Christie Barlow.

The dedication came after her friends were successful in a recent auction for Clic Sargent, a children’s cancer charity, which offered people the opportunity to place a bid to get their name featured in Christie’s book.

Kirstie, a mother-of-four, lost her mother Fiona to breast cancer in 2014 after a 26-year battle with the disease.

Fiona had undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and a double mastectomy during this time.

Kirstie, a fierce supporter of Stand Up To Cancer, said: “Ann is extraordinary, an inspiration. Her energy, enthusiasm and spirit are awe inspiring.

“Despite her beautiful family having had their worlds turned upside down by this cruel disease time and time again, she is unfaltering in her mission to raise awareness and money to fund the research that will save the lives of others.

“Cancer never took my mum’s spirit away and I can see today that it hasn’t taken Ann’s either.

“I feel very privileged to have spent time with her and her family and hope that they have many more wonderful mornings making lots of memories to come.”

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. Stand Up To Cancer arranged for Kirstie to surprise Ann to highlight the need to fund more research and to inspire people to support the campaign.

Stand Up To Cancer funds translational research, accelerating new cancer treatments and tests to UK patients.

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