A HAMPSHIRE mum who has battled cancer three times is climbing Africa's tallest mountain to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sarah Andersen is accompanied by her two teenage sons, Jacob, 15, and 13-year-old Toby.

The trio are currently in Tanzania and are attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 19,340ft.

The trio have been sponsored 10p for every foot they climb, making a total of £1,934.

Sarah, a business consultant from Ringwood, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She said: "My first cancer diagnosis was the most difficult. It changed my life forever and was particularly difficult to accept at such a happy time, shortly after the birth of my second son.

"The world went into a tailspin as I had to both deal with the fear of being a mum with young children and the fear for the future. Trying to wean Toby onto bottled milk was one of the toughest experiences I have been through."

Six years later in 2011, Sarah, now 50, was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, unrelated to the first one and just months after she had celebrated getting the all clear.

"This time the boys were at primary school and able to understand my diagnosis. It was tough breaking the news to them and watching them struggle as I went through treatment. The Macmillan nurses were always so kind, taking the time to get to know you and supporting where they could" she said.

Jacob, Sarah’s eldest son, said: "Over the last 13 years we have supported our mum through her fight with cancer twice. Her experience inspired us to take on our own challenge, climbing the Three Peaks. We raised money for Macmillan, who supported our family through some tough times."

But when mum Sarah was diagnosed with a third cancer last year – this time endometrial, in the uterus – the boys were motivated to take on a much bigger challenge, Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. "We hope to be among the youngest people to summit the mountain" said Toby.

Sarah added: "It has been a slow road to physical recovery. But we have found that setting goals has helped us as a family to remain positive and share some fantastic experiences together.

"The boys never faltered in their dream to climb Kilimanjaro."