A mum-of-three, who is fighting cancer, has joined forces with a close friend to raise awareness of, and show their support for, all cancer patients on World Cancer Day.
Hastings resident Ann Sandeman, 44, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She took part in Race for Life in Alexandra Park, unaware that she had cancer or that she was pregnant with her third child. Ann took the brave decision to go ahead with chemotherapy treatment during her pregnancy and her son Ben (now aged six) was born fit and well.
However, in 2010 there was another devastating blow. The cancer had returned in her chest cavity and though incurable, and extremely painful, it is treatable.
Thanks to ongoing treatment, which has included five courses of chemotherapy treatment, four courses of radiotherapy and two surgeries, Ann, who is also mum to daughters Hannah, 10, and Emma, eight, continues to battle the disease.
Close friend Sarah Luff 33, from Icklesham, has supported Ann in her fight against cancer and the pair have joined forces to ask people to show their support for all cancer patients on World Cancer Day, which aims to raise awareness of cancer and promote its prevention, detection, and treatment.
Ann says she owes her life to the excellent care she’s received. She said: “It’s thanks to the treatment and the continuing progress that is being made in research that I’m here today. My future remains uncertain but it’s my children who keep me going.
“It’s really important to people like me that we raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK so that more people can survive longer.”
Ann and Sarah are asking people to buy a Cancer Research UK ‘Unity Band’ and wear it with pride on February 4. The wrist band is made of two parts which form a knot to represent strength in unity. They are available in a range of colours from Cancer Research UK shops for a suggested donation of £2.
For Ann and Sarah the band represents the power of people joining together to support research and crucial new discoveries which will help more people like Ann survive longer. Ann said: “Sarah is regularly part of my fundraising activity so it’s appropriate that she is here now – literally joined with me – to back Cancer Research UK and ask everyone to buy a Unity Band.”
Sarah, a teacher at St Mary Star-of-the-Sea School in St Leonards, said: “I’m so grateful for the treatment that is prolonging Ann’s life so I want to do what I can to fight back against this devastating disease and I urge other people to do the same.”
More than five people are diagnosed with cancer every hour in the south east.