A TERMINALLY-ill mum has received messages of support from across the world after she revealed her heartbreaking story in the Echo.
Ann McClean, 62, of Grangetown, had been given just two years to live by doctors when she was diagnosed with lung cancer after smoking for 40 years.
After telling how she plans to help others in the time she has left, Ann has been bombarded with messages via the internet from people around the globe.
She has pledged to keep them posted on the progress of her treatment as a reminder of the dangers of smoking.
Though Ann is being treated at Sunderland Royal Hospital, her cancer can’t be cured because the tumour is too embedded in her lungs and has spread.
Due to her chemotherapy treatment, which will give Ann a few precious extra months with her family, she has lost her natural hair and has started to wear a real-hair wig instead.
The mum-of-one said: “I have had people contact me who say they have given up smoking after reading my story, which is great.
“If I can stop one person from smoking I will be happy.
“I am hoping to do the Race for Life if I am well enough and on the back of my t-shirt I want to put ‘smoking is killing me’.
“It might sound harsh, but I want to get that message out there.”
She added: “One woman outside the hospital recognised me and just gave me the biggest hug ever.
“I know some people want to keep their cancer private, but hopefully I can help other people by talking about it.”
Ann, who is mum to Paula, 40, says she was devastated to lose her hair through her chemotherapy treatment but is determined to share her plight with others.
“I think I was more devastated when I lost my hair than when I found out I had cancer,” Ann said.
“I think it’s because hair is so tied up with how a woman feels about herself.
“I went to try on the wigs you get from the NHS, but they were so old-fashioned and unrealistic.
“I think more money should be spent on that area, because hair really does affect how you feel about yourself.”
Ann has been fitted with a real- hair wig at the Ramsay & Johnson salon, in Blandford Street, which specialises in wigs for cancer patients and those who suffer from hair loss disease alopecia.
Owner Neville Ramsay said: “Ann still looks young and dresses really nicely so she didn’t want a bit of plastic on her head.
“When people have an operation for cancer you can hide your scars, but hair is something that everyone sees.
“You would never know these are wigs, so Ann can walk down the street without feeling like everyone is looking at her hair.”
l Anyone who is going through cancer and who would like to contact Ann can do so at Anmac@hotmail.co.uk