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Ipswich cancer survivor urges others to support World Cancer Day

PUBLISHED: 12:45 30 January 2019

Ipswich teaching assistant Hannah Mills Picture: MARK HEWLETT

Ipswich teaching assistant Hannah Mills Picture: MARK HEWLETT

© 2013 Mark Hewlett

An Ipswich teaching assistant is helping to support World Cancer Day with the help of her four-legged friend.

Hannah Mills, 30, who works at Ravenswood Primary School, has been registered as partially sighted since the age of seven and has no peripheral vision.

In July 2015, while she was on the waiting list for a guide dog, Hannah was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said: “I found a lump in my right breast in May 2015. I’d never checked myself before I found the lump and don’t know why I did it. I just checked both sides and it was there.

“My mum was amazing through all the treatment, taking me to all my chemo appointments. She’s completely awesome.”

Hannah and Joy are backing Cancer Research UK's campaign for World Cancer Day Picture: MARK HEWLETTHannah and Joy are backing Cancer Research UK's campaign for World Cancer Day Picture: MARK HEWLETT

Fortunately, a year to the day after her diagnosis Hannah was cancer free and able to take her new guide dog Joy home with her.

“I felt that getting Joy on the anniversary of being diagnosed was meant to be,” said Hannah, “The name suits her.

“Joy makes such a difference and I can’t imagine life without her. I was a lot slower and less confident before and always had to look down when out walking, but now I can look up when I’m with her and see the sky and trees.”

Thanks to Joy, Hannah continues to enjoy her work at the school while also taking part in raising funds to help people like her.

Joy takes a quick break before the big campaign Picture: MARK HEWLETTJoy takes a quick break before the big campaign Picture: MARK HEWLETT

Hannah said: “I’m continuing to fundraise for cancer research. Every year I take part in Race for Life and I also do Pretty Muddy.

“I’m very active and love Zumba, as well as swimming. I’m just happy to be getting on with life.”

Hannah hopes that people across Suffolk will support the campaign for World Cancer Day on February 4 by wearing Cancer Research UK’s Unity Band.

She said: “I’ve got more to celebrate - I’ll complete my injections against cancer in March, so now my aim is to concentrate on fundraising as much as possible and raising awareness of breast cancer.

Hannah with some of the pupils at Ravenswood Primary School Picture: MARK HEWLETTHannah with some of the pupils at Ravenswood Primary School Picture: MARK HEWLETT

“That’s why I’m proud to support World Cancer Day.

“Being able to lead a normal life is why I want everyone in Ipswich to wear a Unity Band on World Cancer Day – it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

“Just by wearing a Unity Band, everyone can help make a real difference to people with cancer.”

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