Walkers to take on 17-mile challenge to help charity after mums’ cancer battle

The son of a woman who beat cancer is fundraising for charity after his girlfriend’s mother was also diagnosed with the life-threatening condition.

Amanda Bayliss, 48, is having an operation to remove her lymph nodes today after doctors discovered that tumorous cells had spread to them from a lump on her left breast.

From left: Karen Armstrong, Dan Pym, Rachel Bayliss, Amanda Bayliss and Rebecca Harwood.

From left: Karen Armstrong, Dan Pym, Rachel Bayliss, Amanda Bayliss and Rebecca Harwood.

After a routine mammogram breast examination, she was told there was a 95 per cent chance she had cancer on Valentines Day. It was confirmed a week later.

She said: “It was pretty tough when they told me. You go through so many different emotions of shock and denial and everything else, so it was not a nice time.

“The first thing that went through my mind was: ‘Am I going to die?’ I have got three children and I am a single parent.

“It is tough, but it is something that you have to face. You can’t stick your head in the sand. You have to face it head on. I told the truth to my children the whole way through.”

The Northchurch mum-of-three had an operation to remove the cancerous lump on her breast on Tuesday, March 25.

Doctors also removed some of her lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread. Last Wednesday, she found out that it had.

Her operation today is bigger and even if successful in removing the cancer will leave her more susceptible to infections for the rest of her life.

She hopes to take part in the Race for Life in Watford in June with daughters Rachel, 23, and Rebecca, 17, to raise money for Cancer Research.

But Rachel’s partner Dan Pym, 23, from South Oxhey, wanted to do his bit too – and the Race for Life is only open to women.

Therefore, Dan and 11 male mates will walk 17 miles from South Oxhey to Berkhamsted along the Grand Union Canal to raise money for Cancer Research on Monday, May 26.

You can sponsor them by clicking here

Dan’s mum Karen was herself diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2011. Half of her bowel was removed the following month and she had six months of tablet-form chemotherapy treatment from November 2011.

The South Oxhey mother-of-six was then given the all-clear, but was told to have a scan and blood tests every six months for the next five years.

She said: “It’s the waiting for the results after the scan for two weeks which is hard now.

“That’s what I do not like about it. People keep saying to me: ‘My mate’s mum had cancer and it came back. I am like: ‘Shut up. I do not want to hear that.’

“It’s nerve-wracking to wait to see if it’s going to come back.

“I keep going on the internet to check out this and that – which is not good really as it scares me even more. You never go back to normal after something like this.”