A former Pride in Peterborough winner is fighting for her life for the second time in a year after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Samantha Walker (28) is hoping the inoperable tumour on her artery can be shrunk then removed so she can take her three children to Disneyland Paris next year.
The thought of taking William (9), Lilly (5) and 19-month-old Isabelle away with husband Lee is the driving force behind Samantha’s recovery which will see her start a second round of chemotherapy on Monday.
The first dose saw her develop sepsis (where the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection) and a blockage on her bowel duct, leaving her to spend almost all of March in a hospital bed and away from her children.
Samantha, of Parnwell, said: “I’ve spent more time in hospital than with them.
“They are affected - my son goes to school every single day and says ‘is mummy going to pick me up’? My daughter asks every day ‘are you picking me up’? It’s sad for them.
“My 19-month-old baby has spent more time with her father than me. I worry she won’t know who I am.
“My son knows mummy has cancer as I lost my hair. My five-year-old knows mummy is poorly.
“My mum stays strong but inside she must be crumbling.”
Samantha won the Peterborough Telegraph’s Pride in Peterborough award in 2013 after raising funds to transform a house so that a little boy with leukaemia could spend his final months at home.
But in January 2015 she was placed in a coma for four weeks after suffering a pulmonary embolism - a blockage in the pulmonary artery - which saw her resuscitated twice at Peterborough City Hospital.
Samantha added: “I’ve asked if I’m going to die and they said they don’t know yet. Most pancreatic cancer patients have a five-year life span. I’m quite rare as two per cent have it at my age.
“Every day I wake up and think ‘I’m here’ and I’m grateful. It’s another day with my children. We are very positive. If I can get through what I got through last year, then I can get through this.
“I’ve done so much for other people and think ‘why is this happening to me’? But then I think if it’s happening to me then it’s not happening to someone else.”