A CHIPPENHAM cancer survivor is rallying the region to unite in support of people affected by cancer during World Cancer Day today (Feb 4).

Samantha Orchard, 31, who lives in Little Somerford, was diagnosed with womb cancer last April but has since made a full recovery.

Mrs Orchard and her husband Dave are encouraging everyone to pick up a Unity Band, made of two parts, knotted together, to symbolise the power of what can be achieved when people come together, and wear it with pride.

In April 2015 during tests before her fourth fertility treatment, medical staff found that Mrs Orchard had cancer.

She said: “I remember sitting in complete shock when my consultant said the words to me and I just looked at Dave and broke down.

“We had spent six years trying to conceive a baby and at 30 I was being told I had cancer, our world turned upside down within seconds. We just cried and cried.

“Following my diagnosis the next six months were spent mostly at Bristol in and out of hospital. I then had to hear the news that actually the cancer was far more developed than first thought and having a hysterectomy was the only option to ensure that all traces were removed.

“The emotion and exhaustion that followed was overwhelming and without Dave I don’t know how I would have got through it all.

“I desperately wanted to give him the family he wished for, but constantly he reassured me that it was me that was important, and beating cancer was all that mattered to him.”

Following Samantha’s initial surgery she had various complications and was recently re-admitted to hospital in January for follow-up surgery.

Samantha’s consultant is however certain that all traces have been removed.

For the first time, four leading cancer charities, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation have joined together to motivate people to support World Cancer Day.

Karen Davis, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South West, said: “We’re asking everyone to band together for this one special day and to highlight the power of what can be achieved when people of all ages and from all walks of life join together.

“Success stories like Samantha’s would not be possible without the commitment of our amazing supporters, who fund each charity’s individual work into the prevention, detection, treatment and support of those with cancer."

The Unity Bands are available from each charity in their own colours at www.worldcancerday.co.uk for a suggested donation of £2.