Cambourne's Tania Thrower is standing up to cancer
A cancer survivor who lost her dad to the disease when she was a child is urging people to support the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.
Tania Thrower, 43, has twice beaten skin cancer but her father was not as fortunate and died of Hodgkin’s disease when he was 28 and Tania was seven.
Tania, who has three sons, one daughter and a grandson, regularly gets her face painted to raise money and awareness.
She has tried dozens of looks –including the Easter bunny, a minion, a witch, vampire and chicken – and now she has written a message to cancer across her face to support Stand Up To Cancer.
Tania said: “It was like my world had ended when I was first diagnosed. I was thinking about my kids and if they would lose their mum, just like I lost my dad.
“Luckily for me, there are lots of treatments now and I’ve been given the all-clear. My dad didn’t have that chance when he was diagnosed 35 years ago. I was so young when he died and I never really got to know him. It shows how important research is, it saves a lot of lives and families too.”
Stand Up To Cancer is a joint fundraising campaign by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which raises cash to help get new tests and treatments to cancer patients, faster.
Tania, a supermarket worker from Cambourne, was first diagnosed with skin cancer when she was 32 and the disease returned for a second time when she was 36.
At first she thought she had cut herself shaving but when the cut wouldn’t heal and started itching, she went to see her GP. Tania was referred for further tests.
Tania was diagnosed with skin cancer and she needed an operation and a skin graft. She now has a large and deep scar above her knee, which she calls her ‘shark bite’. The second tumour was smaller and did not require such drastic surgery.
“Sometimes people will stare at my scar, so I tell them it’s a shark bite!” said Tania. “Then I explain what really happened and why they should wear sun cream and keep an eye on their skin and moles.
“I do my face painting really to make people smile but it helps me raise awareness as well.”
Since its launch in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than £38million to fund more than 40 clinical trials and research projects. Three are ongoing in Cambridge at the moment.
This autumn Channel 4 will bring the brightest stars from show business in a dedicated season of Stand Up To Cancer programming.