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Mum battles back after eight-hour cancer surgery to watch daughter in Cambridge Race for Life 2019

By Paul Brackley

A Cambridge mum who underwent an eight-hour breast cancer operation just a few weeks ago is watching her daughter take part in Race for Life.

Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491225)
Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491225)

Samantha Ambrose, 45, underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after discovering a lump in her breast.

She is supporting her daughter, Chloe, as she tackles the 5k Race for Life on Jesus Green in Cambridge today (Sunday July 7), a day before she is due to find out if her surgery has been a success and she is cancer free.

Samantha, a dental lead receptionist from Bottisham, said: “Race for Life is going to be a very emotional day for me and the whole family. My eldest daughter Chloe is taking part, and nothing is going to stop me from being there with her. She was there for me and now it’s my turn to support her.”

Work colleagues will also run on her behalf, and will watch as Samantha and Chloe take to the stage in front of thousands of runners to share their story.

They aim to promote how having a positive mental attitude helped them in their fight against cancer.

“I’m a very positive person. Three weeks ago, I was on the table. The operation went well, they took away fat from my tum for a reconstruction, so I got a tummy tuck out of it as well - what more could you ask for?" said Samantha, who will watch her daughter take part alongside her husband Paul, 53, and her youngest daughter Lauren, 21.

Chloe, who works for a social media agency, said: “As a family we are still waiting on mum’s results to see if she is all clear but, regardless of the outcome, we will be OK with a strong mental attitude.

Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491209)
Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491209)

"It’s a mental journey as well as a physical one. We may not be able to control the cancer, but we can control our emotions towards it.”

Samantha added: “Yes, I will be nervous and apprehensive. It might be too emotional for me but at least I will be there even if Chloe has to do all of the speaking and just give a bow at the end.

“I’ve still got my own results to come which is always on my mind but by going to the race I feel I can help. I never thought it would be me who got cancer, not for a million years. It’s a total out of the body experience and even today I still find it hard to believe. My message to everyone is get to know your body, if something feels different get yourself checked out, the sooner the better, take control.”

Chloe regularly posts her own messages on social media under the tag @missgingerfreckles.

She recently posted a picture of herself holding two oranges with the message “Check your boobs!"

Chloe posted this picture with the caption 'Check your boobs!' (13491304)
Chloe posted this picture with the caption 'Check your boobs!' (13491304)

She added: “I’m a micro influencer and If I’ve reached out to one person to check their boobs and it changes their life then I’ve made a difference. Mum is a great example of taking what life throws at her in her stride

“There have been a few tears from her but she sucks it up quickly and gets on with things. Even now when she’s waiting on her results she’s so open about her own journey and letting people know that life does go on.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events.

The inspiring events raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding vital research, much of which takes place here at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Last year, more than £54million was spent by on research in Cambridge alone.

Gemma Turpin, the charity's event manager at Jesus Green, said: “We’re very grateful to Samantha and Chloe for showing their support.

“By following their lead people can make a real difference in the fight against cancer.

Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491222)
Samantha with daughter Chloe, who is taking part in Race for Life Cambridge 2019 (13491222)

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer, at some point during their lifetime, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Gemma added: “Every day, around 90 people are diagnosed with cancer in the East of England. To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer, we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible, and that’s why we need everyone in Cambridge to join in.

“We encourage our participants to help raise money in whatever way they like – there are lots of ideas on the Race for Life website - because this allows Cancer Research UK to fund vital research that saves lives.This includes clinical trials which give patients in Cambridge access to the latest treatments.”

Read more

Our complete guide to Cambridge Race for Life 2019 - with course map, road closures, useful tips and more

Breast cancer ‘spreads in waves, not continuously’, researchers at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute discover

71 pictures from Cambridge Race for Life 2018 as 4,000 participants help raise about £250,000 for Cancer Research UK

Prof Greg Hannon on taking over at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and creating the world’s first virtual reality tumour


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