When mother-of-two Amanda Woodhouse was told she had a life-threatening brain tumour, her world fell apart.
The night before the operation to remove it, she spent hours sending text messages to family and friends telling them she loved them, just in case she didn’t pull through.
Mrs Woodhouse did pull through and although her future is still uncertain, she has embarked on a charity fundraising mission.
It will culminate in her being the VIP starter of the 2011 Tesco and Cancer Research UK Race for Life, in Brighton.
And she’ll be joined at the starting post by her very own running team, a 20-strong group of family and friends, calling themselves Amanda’s Angels.
Race for Life is Britain’s largest women-only fundraising event series where women join together to walk, jog or run 5k raise money to help beat cancer.
Mrs Woodhouse, 40, of Baden Road, Brighton, is married to Mick and has two sons, Jack, 14 and Max, ten.
She had a grade 4 brain tumour diagnosed in 2009.
Despite her own incurable condition she has ploughed her energies into trying to help others fight the disease.
“When doctors told me I had the worst type of tumour I was completely shell shocked,” Mrs Woodhouse said.
“The night before my operation to remove it, I sent 1,000 texts to family and friends telling them I loved them, just in case I didn’t pull through.
“When I came round the next day I was so relieved that I was alive, and also not to be brain damaged, I started to think all this might have happened for a reason.
“Now I believe it is so that I fundraise as much as I can so that others might benefit from better treatment in the future even though it might be too late for me.”
Mrs Woodhouse is currently undergoing her second bout of chemotherapy treatment after already undergoing a year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in 2009
But she kicked 2011 off by raising more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK after organising a charity New Year’s Eve party.
This was on top of £1,200 raised from a Halloween bash, the previous year.
Now Mrs Woodhouse and her “Angels” are hoping to top that amount when they join thousands of other women at Stanmer Park on Saturday 2 July.
“I’m really looking forward to the day and feel incredibly proud to be asked to open the event,” Mrs Woodhouse said.
“I’m so lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive family and friends who are all behind me with this.
“No matter how bleak things get, they all keep me going. That and the thought that other cancer patients might benefit from what we’re doing.”
Race for Life will help Cancer Research UK which supports the work of scientists, doctors and nurses who are dedicated to beating cancer by understanding its causes and investigating how best to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.
Every hour about five people in the South East have cancer diagnosed – that’s 110 people a day or 4,100 a year.
When Race for Life started in 1994, many people suffering from cancer did not survive.
Since then, money generated by Race for Life has supported Cancer Research UK’s work and now more people are beating the disease than ever before.
Suzi Dent, Race for Life event manager for Brighton said: “We’re thrilled to have Amanda officially launch this year’s Race for Life.
“She is an inspiration and I’m sure she will look around at all the other amazing women taking part and be inspired too.
“Race for Life in Brighton is a unique celebration of sisterhood and pride.
“The atmosphere is amazing, with local women from all walks of life coming together to make a positive difference to people affected by cancer.
“They motivate and inspire each other to complete the course with many simply walking round, chatting and having fun.
“This year we hope more women than ever before will take part.
“We need our Race for Life regulars, as well as women who took part years ago, to join together with many new faced to help save more lives.”
Last year 6,367 women took part in the Brighton Race for Life and raised £393,488 for Cancer Research UK.
This year organisers are encouraging 7,280 women to put their best feet forward and raise £531,000.
Suzi added: “By taking part in Race for Life and raising money to fund life-saving research, women in Brighton can help to ensure more people survive.”
Women and girls can enter any of the Cancer Research UK Race for Life events in Sussex at www.raceforlife.org or by calling 08716 411111.
Mrs Woodhouse’s fundraising page can be found here.
The Brighton Race for Life is due to take place on Saturday 2 July at 2pm and Sunday 3 July at 11am in Stanmer Park.
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