Mum’s cancer ‘saved my life’

10:47 18 June 2014

Mandy Jones and her mum Pam pictured at a previous Race for Life.

Mandy Jones and her mum Pam pictured at a previous Race for Life.

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Cancer survivor calls on all North Devon women to join her at the Race for Life fundraiser in Barnstaple on Sunday, July 6.

A Bideford mum is entering the North Devon race for Life next month in honour of her mother, whose battle with cancer saved her life.

Mandy Jones, 32, lost her mum Pam to ovarian cancer earlier this year, aged just 54.

Pam’s condition prompted Mandy to undergo testing for a hereditary cancer gene – and she was shocked to find not only did she test positive, but that she already had breast cancer.

Now she is calling on all local mums, daughters, sisters and friends to join her for Race for Life at Seven Brethren in Barnstaple on Sunday, July 6 to create a formidable army of passionate women determined to take on the deadly disease for Cancer Research UK.

Doctors found four lumps in Mandy’s right breast and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. She underwent a double mastectomy and then a hysterectomy.

Mandy and Pam often visited North Devon District Hospital together for chemotherapy treatment.

Mandy’s older sister Pam, 33, who lives in Bristol also tested positive for the faulty gene and opted to have a double mastectomy as a precaution and will also go on to have a hysterectomy.

This year will be Mandy’s fourth Race for Life and she will be joined by her daughter Kaicee.

“The fact that mum had ovarian cancer has saved my life, and ultimately that of Kaicee and niece Icy who will be tested when they are older,” said Mandy.

“Mum was aged 50 when diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in 2011– She survived for three years and went downhill in the New Year. My grandmother also died at age 32 and we knew mum was only six months old when she died.

“Taking part in Race for Life is my way of hitting cancer where it hurts. I’m so grateful for the research that’s helped me and now I want to help others by supporting Cancer Research UK’s work.

“It’s important people know that research is crucial and saves lives and to know how important screening is.”

Every hour, around three people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West.

Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking work but, with help from the people of the South West, the charity intends to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

“Research means so much to my family. My sisters, my cousins are all grateful for the fact that without research more lives could be lost and families unable to see their children grow up,” added Mandy.

“I can celebrate that I am here. Thanks to research more families will stay together. My daughter, my sisters, my dad and I have all experienced cancer and the devastating affect that it has had in losing loved ones so early in life.”

To enter Race for Life’s 5k or 10k events in the South West visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.

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