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Cancer survivor’s brave charity trek

PUBLISHED: 13:47 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:36 25 August 2010

A BREAST cancer survivor has visited schoolchildren to tell how she raised £18,000 for Cancer Research. Wendy Tanton, a gardener of Church Road

A BREAST cancer survivor has visited schoolchildren to tell how she raised £18,000 for Cancer Research.

Wendy Tanton, a gardener of Church Road, Bexleyheath, held an assembly for children at St Thomas More Primary School, Bexleyheath on March 28.

The mother of two trekked 200 miles by horse through Grenada's Alpujarras Mountains, just nine months after undergoing a double mastectomy.

Mrs Tanton, 40, said: "It was quite exhilarating because we were going up and down mountains on very narrow precarious tracks.

"We got to about 3,000ft and were still passing through villages. It was hard work because a lot of it was getting off and leading the horses down ravines.

"It was actually quite scary, not just a stroll."

After finding a small lump under her arm in May 2006, Mrs Tantonr underwent chemotherapy but needed all the breast tissue and lymph glands under her arms removed last January.

Having since undergone reconstructive surgery, Mrs Tanton still finds her arms are weak but continues her work as a gardener.

With her body and family still reeling from the shock of her ordeal, Mrs Tanton embarked upon the trek with her mother, aunt, friend and her doctor at Blackheath Hospital.

She said: "I found when I came back I felt like I had not only conquered a road as it was quite a feat not being 100 per cent fit.

"But I felt I had finally put a lid on breast cancer. Like it was over."

Since her trip, Mrs Tanton has developed a love of horses and now keeps her own horse, Harvey, at Shannonleygh Stables in Bexleyheath.

Her youngest son, Henry, 12, was schooled at St Thomas More before moving to Dartford Grammar.

Mrs Tanton said: "I decided to go back to the school to show that the bald lady is okay now.

"They need to see that there is sometimes a happy ending."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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