Lowestoft mum thanked for raising awareness and funds for charity after battling mouth cancer

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Mark Hewlett.

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Mark Hewlett. - Credit: Archant

A mouth cancer survivor who dived out of a plane, gave up alcohol and ran numerous 10km races for Cancer Research UK has been recognised for her efforts.

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Cancer Research UK.

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Cancer Research UK. - Credit: Archant

Sam Fordham, 46, from Lowestoft, started raising awareness about mouth cancer and fundraising for the charity after going through treatment for the disease in 2014.

The mum-of-one decided she wanted to help others diagnosed and to date has raised £3,500, with plans to boost that total with a three peaks challenge next year.

Ms Fordham was diagnosed with mouth cancer on New Year's Eve in 2013. She had major surgery to remove the tumour and to rebuild her tongue. Just months later she started fundraising for Cancer Research UK and began sharing her story to raise awareness.

Now as a thank you for her efforts, Ms Fordham has been given a special tour behind the scenes of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute to visit the labs and meet the scientists.

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Mark Hewlett.

Sam Fordham at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Picture: Mark Hewlett. - Credit: Archant

She said: 'It was a real honour to meet the researchers and to look around the labs. I had no idea how much research was going on in East Anglia and how many people are involved. The scale of it is incredible.

'It was fascinating talking to the different research groups and hearing about their work on everything from breast cancer to brain tumours. The equipment they need for their work is amazing but it is also very expensive! It made me feel more motivated to do what I can to help with fundraising in the future.'

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The Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute recently celebrated its tenth birthday and put on the tours to mark a decade of research. It houses 420 staff from 36 countries, with millions invested in research each year. Together they have published 1,200 scientific papers and trained 142 postgraduate students – the next generation of researchers.

Danielle Glavin, Cancer Research UK spokesman for the East, said: 'We have so many amazing fundraisers in the East and it is because of them that our scientists can continue to do their vital research. Sam has been an inspiration to so many people at the charity, just months after major surgery she started fundraising and there has been no stopping her ever since!'

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