“Cancer has touched my life more than I would have ever expected or wanted” | Sam’s Story
“It’s highly likely that someone’s past efforts to support Cancer Research UK led to the development of the treatment that helped my partner spend more time with his boys. It has also meant that I am here today”.
Sam knows more than most just how cancer can affect a family. From losing her father and partner within a few years of each other, and herself having been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2021, Sam is passionate about helping fund the vital research of Cancer Research UK. Read on to discover her story…
Every 2 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer*– something that may shock many people. It’s important to know, however, that this statistic is true. Over recent years, cancer has touched my life more than I would have ever expected or wanted. Ten years ago, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. Then, in 2016, my partner of 27 years was diagnosed with incurable gall bladder cancer. It was devastating, but his treatment allowed us to spend some more time together as a family. This was especially important for our two boys, before their dad lost his fight just before Christmas in 2017.
Life went on as best it could, but then in October 2021 I was found to have anal cancer. The diagnosis of cancer in yourself or a loved one never becomes less of a shock, no matter how many times you’ve experienced it. However, my consultant prescribed a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over Christmas for 5 weeks and I’ve now been in remission for coming up to two years. To celebrate this and the life that I have, I recently took up running, and am taking on the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run for the first time in February next year.
My main motivation for supporting Cancer Research UK is the fact that many of us take for granted that the charity’s brilliant researchers are finding new treatments and cures. We “expect” that there will be treatments, but it was only after my experiences with cancer that I realised – and witnessed first-hand – how this vast, complex mission needs proper funding. Huge breakthroughs and advances in treatment do happen but only if we make an active effort to support them.
I think that a powerful way to think about this is that it’s highly likely someone’s past efforts to support Cancer Research UK led to the development of the treatment that helped my partner spend more time with his boys. It has also meant that I am here today. So, I want to use this opportunity to give back to those who helped me. I also want to support people affected by cancer in the future, to lessen the impact of this traumatic illness.
I’m so looking forward to the event in February as it’s bringing together two things that I am passionate about: Cancer Research UK and running. I’ve heard it’s a fabulous setting, full of landmarks and fun winter characters along the way.
It will also be a great feeling to be surrounded by likeminded people, united for a common cause, and whose hearts are in the right place. I can’t wait for that feeling of achievement at the finish line. Bring it on!
Thank you Sam for sharing your story and we can’t wait to have you join us at the event on Sunday 25th February 2024.