A Bampton mum who was told she had five years to live is looking forward to a winter wedding later this year.

It comes eight years after doctors delivered the diagnosis to Christine Palfrey that she has adenoid cystic carcinoma – a rare and aggressive cancer which had eaten away at her jaw.

As a slim and healthy 42-year-old who exercised five times a week, the news was shocking.

The tumour had wrapped itself around her wisdom tooth meaning some of her teeth and part of her jawbone had to be removed.

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She said: “As my face completely changed I had to learn to eat, drink, talk and walk again.

“It shook my confidence and having been told the cancer is incurable but treatable I felt completely crushed.

“My daughter Victoria was devastated and it meant living with this disease and facing further treatment.”

She underwent a 12-hour operation at London Bridge Hospital with surgeons having to remove part of her tongue.

Then, shockingly, in 2015 she had to have two tumours removed from her lung.

Ms Palfrey underwent further treatment on her left lung a few weeks ago and treatment on her right lung is due later this summer.

But the corporate compliance specialist is “absolutely damned to live her life to the full”.

Having gone through a divorce following the first diagnosis, the pressure of which put a strain on her marriage, Ms Palfrey was at her lowest ebb in 2013.

Oxford Mail: Christine Palfrey and daughter Victoria

But she later struck up a friendship with Barry, 51 – a work colleague - and began dating.

She got an unexpected proposal on her 42nd birthday last summer.

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She said: “Having our wedding to look forward to has been a positive in what has been another difficult year.

“I am so grateful for the research into better treatments. That’s why I am supporting a powerful new short film from Cancer Research UK, which underlines how everyone has a part to play in the fight against the disease.”

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson, said: “We are grateful to Christine for her support. Covid-19 has hit us hard, but we are more focused than ever on our ambition of seeing three in four people survive their cancer by 2034.

“So, whether you give £2 a month, sign up to Race for Life, volunteer at our shops or pledge to leave a gift in your Will - with the help of people in Oxford we believe that together we will beat cancer.”

Cancer Research UK spent over £25 million in Oxford last year. Scientists are focusing on a range of cancers with particular expertise in drug development, computing, radiotherapy surgery and imaging.

The campaign film can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/pzNO6PdFhUI