Karting tribute to brave Amanda

By David GreenA FATHER-OF-THREE is to launch a big charity challenge to raise money for breast cancer research in memory of his wife, who died of the disease aged 34.

By David Green

A FATHER-OF-THREE is to launch a big charity challenge to raise money for breast cancer research in memory of his wife, who died of the disease aged 34.

Glenn Rossell, 29, from Brome, near Eye, hopes to raise at least £20,000 for Cancer Research UK by staging a series of kart races in East Anglia.

It will be called the Amanda Rossell Memorial Challenge after his wife Amanda, who died in September last year - 18 months after giving birth to twins Maja and Imogen.


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"Our son Cameron was aged two and, with the arrival of the twins, everything seemed perfect. Then, when the girls were five weeks old, Amanda found a lump in her breast," said Mr Rossell.

"The doctor referred her straight to a consultant and it was thought that, because she'd just given birth, the lump was nothing unusual."

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A benign lump had been removed five years earlier and a biopsy on the second lump proved inconclusive. Mrs Rossell then underwent a general anaesthetic so that a larger sample could be taken from her breast.

"When we went for the results, our world just fell apart. We were expecting to be told there was nothing to worry about, but the doctor said 'I'm afraid it's cancer'," said Mr Rossell.

"It is hard to put into words just how that makes you feel - distraught, angry, very scared, so many different things all at once, making you feel that someone has pulled the rug from under your feet."

Mr Rossell said he had been "dumbstruck" by the result, but his wife had been immediately determined to put up a fight.

She was given several weeks of chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumour, but it had little effect and she underwent a mastectomy in October 2003.

"She had radiotherapy and was feeling and looking really good, so we thought we had it beaten," added Mr Rossell.

However, more devastating news was on the way. Mrs Rossell began to experience back pain and, eventually headaches, and it was discovered the cancer had spread to her lumber region and brain.

"Not being able to get around easily was very frustrating for her because it ruined the time she had with the girls. It broke her heart to think that she wouldn't be around to see our children grow up," said Mr Rossell.

Just weeks after his wife's death and funeral, Mr Rossell and his close friend Paul Dye began planning a huge fundraiser in her memory.

One hundred volunteers are being sought to take part in the kart races, which begin in Red Lodge, near Newmarket, on May 22.

Other races will be held in Brentwood, Colchester, Thurrock, Sproughton, Rayleigh, Beccles, Swaffham, Braintree and Aylesbury and each volunteer will have to pledge to raise a minimum of £200 from sponsors.

"Amanda was the kindest, most caring person you could meet. She had natural beauty, a fantastic smile and an amazingly infectious laugh," said Mr Rossell, a senior database administrator for Wheatley Associates in Bacton.

"We're staging this karting challenge for her because it's the best way I know to honour her memory. I wanted to do something positive to try to prevent others having to go through what Amanda went through,".

Nicola Stapleton, Suffolk community fundraiser for Cancer Research UK, said: "Glenn's determination to pull something so positive together after such a traumatic experience is truly inspirational."

To register or find out more about the Amanda Rossell Memorial Challenge, contact 01284 766311 or e-mail karting@cancer.org.uk.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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