Five inspiring Suffolk stories to mark World Cancer Day
PUBLISHED: 15:23 04 February 2019
This World Cancer Day we take a look back at some of Suffolk’s cancer survivors for the launch of the three year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign.
Kim Sale, who lost her leg to cancer, won a battle to keep her specially-adapted car this year.
The teenager had her leg amputated to save her life when she suffered from Ewing Sarcoma in 2015.
After a tough few years in rehab she qualified for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and was given her ‘Phoebe the Fiat’ through the motability charity - but was told it would be taken away in 2018 as she did not qualify for the higher rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Kim launched an appeal to keep the car, which was taken up by her MP Dan Poulter.
After undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his arm in his 20s, Anthony James from Ipswich is hoping to write a self-help book about how to stay strong in the face of adversity.
Now in his 70s, Mr James is searching for a publisher to realise his dream of writing the book.
Mr James, who has lived most of his life with a physical impairment, said he had lost a number of his friends to suicide and wanted to share his tips for staying mentally well and help others to live a fulfilling life.
He said: “I never give up, that’s how I have lived my life. If I get a problem I think how to cope with it.”
Four-year-old Penny Waters has been named a CHECT Champion by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) in recognition of her outstanding effort and bravery.
Just after her third birthday Penny was struck down by an extremely rare form of eye cancer known as retinoblastoma, meaning her eye had to be removed to save her life.
She now has an artificial eye and has regular check-ups to ensure the cancer has not returned.
Penny’s mother Victoria said: “She even tells all her friends about her ‘special eye’. We’re so proud of her.”
Ipswich cancer survivor Gareth Grayston, who suffered a traumatic battle with the disease, held a star-studded concert for the Stand Up To Cancer Campaign.
In 2009 Gareth was told he had bowel cancer which had spread to his bladder – resulting in part of his bladder being removed.
His mental health began to suffer during his recovery, so he turned to music as a therapy and formed Diamond in 2013.
Since then the group has performed at countless gigs, with its first headline show at their Stand Up To Cancer Concert in October.
Breast cancer survivor Katherine has written a book on how to break the news of a diagnosis to young children. The assistant head of sixth form at St Joseph’s College in Ipswich was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 when her children were aged just six and four.
She found there was no guidance available for the best way to tell them – so decided to write a book called ‘What We Did When Mummy Got Cancer’ which was published in 2016.
She has now shown her support for a scheme which hopes to transform Ipswich Hospital and build a breast centre unit.