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Volunteer Sam wins special commendation from cancer research charity

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A WARRINGTON volunteer has received a special commendation from Cancer Research UK in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cause.
Sam Self has volunteered with the charity for more than four years and gives up every weekend in the spring and summer to host Race for Life, Pretty Muddy and Shine events across the whole of the North West and North Wales.
The 44-year-old was shortlisted in the charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards which acknowledge remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life.
She won a special commendation in the “Event Volunteer of the Year” category.
And Warrington Relay for Life Committee also received an award. The hardworking volunteers who only formed a committee in 2019 have raised a staggering £77,000 for Cancer Research UK already. They received a Special Commendation in the “Fundraising in the Community” award.
Sam Self, who lives in Grappenhall and is married to Ed, lost both her mum and brother to cancer.
She was among a total of 181 individuals and groups from all across the UK recognised by the Flame of Hope awards. The awards ceremony in London had to be cancelled this year to protect the country’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The pandemic has caused a devastating loss of funding for cancer research. Following the cancellation of fundraising events like Race for Life, Cancer Research UK is expecting a staggering £160 million drop in income in the year ahead. As a result, the charity has made the difficult decision to cut £44 million in research funding.
Sam was inspired to give up her time for the charity after her family was so hugely impacted by cancer.
Her mum Jacque Self was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 20 years ago. She underwent six months of chemotherapy and then went into remission. However, five years later Jacque became unwell again, the cancer had come back and she died aged 63 in 2005.
Just two years later, Sam’s brother Andrew Self, who was only aged 30, became unwell with flu like symptoms. The family was devastated when Andrew was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.
Sam moved to Essex to take Andrew to hospital appointments and spend time with him. He had six months of chemotherapy and responded well. But just two months later Andrew relapsed. He had chemotherapy once again and doctors were preparing him for a stem cell transplant, but he became so ill and weak that he made the decision to stop all treatment. Andrew died in 2008.
Other members of Sam’s family have also faced a cancer diagnosis, including her dad Robin Self who has been treated for prostate cancer.
Sam, who runs her own jewellery business as well as working for the Royal College of GPs, said “I would never want anyone to go through the same heartache that our family faced with my mum and brother.
“It was an incredibly tough time. But even in the time between my mum and then my brother being treated for totally unrelated cancers, I could see a real improvement in the treatment and that’s entirely thanks to research.
“I absolutely love volunteering at Race for Life. They are fantastic, uplifting events and I feel proud to be involved and incredibly honoured to be recognised in this way.”
For more information about Cancer Research UK visit cruk.org

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