Proud moment for cancer survivor

DETERMINED Ann Rodwell is today preparing for one of the proudest moments of her life - after a year-long battle to beat cancer.Well-known as a tenacious and iron-willed campaigner, nothing was going to stop Mrs Rodwell from receiving a special honour - and tomorrow she will be elected as mayor of Felixstowe.

DETERMINED Ann Rodwell is today preparing for one of the proudest moments of her life - after a year-long battle to beat cancer.

Well-known as a tenacious and iron-willed campaigner, nothing was going to stop Mrs Rodwell from receiving a special honour - and tomorrow she will be elected as mayor of Felixstowe.

“It has been a tough year but my family and friends have kept me going and everyone has been wonderful,” said Mrs Rodwell.

“I am clear of the cancer now but I have been told it will come back - I will have to be extremely lucky for it not to, although the doctors are keeping a very close eye on me to catch it as early as possible.

“When I was put forward as mayor my first reaction was that it was not something I had thought of doing before. I had always seen my job as a councillor as a campaigner, a fighter, shouting for people so their views will be heard.

“My husband Gordon though said our family had been in the town for generations in business and it was an honour I should accept. It will be such a privilege to serve the town in this way.

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“When I then found out about the cancer I was not going to let that beat me - I was determined to be well to do my year as mayor.

“Knowing that I would have this honour and also my council work has helped keep me going.”

Conservative Mrs Rodwell, deputy mayor, district and county councillor, felt an uncomfortable lump in her throat in spring last year while canvassing for the council elections and John Gummer in the general election. At the time she put it down to tiredness and overwork.

However, later the discomfort increased and it became difficult to eat. Hospital tests discovered cancer of the oesophagus - which leads from the pharynx to the stomach - and a series of operations were needed.

Mrs Rodwell did not have radiotherapy or chemotherapy, but now faces a future of constant scans, internal investigations and Teflon injections to try keep a close eye on her condition. The operations have affected her voice but this is now returning.

She will be elected as mayor at the annual Felixstowe Town Council meeting at Broadway House, Orwell Road, at 7.15pm tomorrow , taking over the role from her cousin Cyril Webb.

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