A VOLUNTEER has received a special commendation from Cancer Research UK in recognition for her contribution to the cause.

Sam Self, from Grappenhall, lost both her mum and brother to cancer and has dedicated the past four years to Cancer Research in their memory.

The 44-year-old 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.

She was shortlisted in the charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards, winning a special commendation in the ‘Event Volunteer of the Year’ category.

Sam said: “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.”

Jane Bullock, from Cancer Research, said: “These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like Sam who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease.”

Sam’s mum, Jacque Self battled ovarian cancer with chemotherapy for six months successfully before it came back five years later and she passed away in 2005, aged 63.

Warrington Guardian:

Sam and family

Just two years later Sam’s brother Andrew Self was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at only 30, becoming so ill that he decided to stop treatment after eight months and died in 2008.

Other members of the family have also faced a cancer diagnosis, including Sam’s dad Robin Self who was treated for prostate cancer.

Warrington Guardian:

Sam and dad Robin

Sam 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.”

Ms Self was among 181 individuals and groups recognised by the Flame of Hope awards.

Warrington Relay for Life Committee also received a special commendation in the ‘Fundraising in the Community’ category for raising £77,000r.

The ceremony, held in London, was cancelled this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as many fundraising events which Cancer Research UK expects to cause a £160 million drop in income in the year ahead.

Warrington Guardian:

Sam and husband Ed

Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell said: “Covid-19 has slowed us down, but we will never stop.

“We remain as focussed as ever on beating cancer and I want to thank everyone who has supported us through this time.”

Over the last 40 years cancer survival for at least ten years has doubled in the UK to 50%, but CR UK aims to ensure that this increases to 75% by 2034.

For more information about Cancer Research UK visit: cruk.org.