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Hastings cancer mum names her children as her three lttle stars
Devoted mum Ann Sandeman had no doubts when asked to name the shining stars in her life - her three children.
Ms Sandeman has spoken movingly about how important they have been to her as she prepares to face her third fight against the disease.
She was asked by Cancer Research UK: “Who lights up your life?” as part of its campaign to highlight its night-time walking marathon Shine next month.
Hannah, eight, Emma, six and Ben, four, have been a tower of strength for their mother over the years.
Ms Sandeman, 41, said: “Cancer can be a very dark and lonely experience and the one thing you need to get you through is some light in your life. “That for me is the love and laughter provided by my children.
“Having three children under 10 is hard work - all those jobs that need doing don't go away just because you have cancer. “But they are the three reasons I get out of bed every day when I don't feel well and why I am determined to keep on fighting.”
Ms Sandeman took part in a charity Race for Life event in 2007, unaware that not only did she have third stage breast cancer, but that she was pregnant with Ben.
However, thanks to an early diagnosis and a brave decision to go ahead with her chemotherapy during pregnancy, he was born healthy and a year later she was clear of cancer.
However a tumour then developed in the cavity between her lungs and wrapped itself around the blood vessels of her heart and although treatable, it wasn't curable.
Although that condition is being held at bay, last month came the devastating news that another tumour had developed in her breast and she now faces a mastectomy and further chemotherapy.
Every day is a challenge for Ms Sandeman, from Hastings, both physically and mentally, but there are also milestones to keep her going such as birthdays and Christmas and Ben's first day at school next month.
She said: “Every day is important and precious so I don't look too far into the future. Here and now with the children is what matters most.”
Ms Sandeman will be too unwell for the overnight walk in London on September 29, but is supporting the event as a thank you for the charity's support.
For more details, visit www.shinewalk.org.
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