TELLING her children she had cancer was one of the hardest things Tamsen Minchin has ever had to do. But the mother-of-three from Wimborne survived, and now has a new appreciation of life.

Tamsen – who lives with her sons Gillen, ten, and Hallin, eight, daughter, Skye, six, as well as her step- daughter Farrah, 20, - was offered annual screening after her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago.

In July last year she was called back after a mammogram showed an abnormality.

Further tests confirmed she had breast cancer, which came as a huge shock as she had no lumps or other symptoms.

Her doctors decided on a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumour, before surgery to remove her right breast last December.

Last month Tamsen opted to have her other breast removed and she is currently undergoing reconstruction surgery which is due to be completed early next year.

Tamsen said: “I didn’t want to live with the fear of getting cancer in my other breast or to have my children see me being so ill again. I was determined cancer was not going to beat me and I stayed positive.”

Now the 44-year-old is sharing her experience as part of Cancer Research UK’s Every Moment Counts campaign.

The campaign focuses on special moments in the lives of cancer survivors highlighting the preciousness of time and the need to fund vital research in order to create more moments for people, like Tamsen. Tamsen’s special moment was on a beach last summer, surfing in wetsuits with her children, brother and her sister.

“As I caught a wave I turned to my right and realised – on the same wave, surfing next to me, was my brother and wonderful sister who has been free from breast cancer for the last three years.”

Cancer survivors are invited to upload photographs and a short description of their own precious moments at