A Blackpool cancer survivor has made the final of an awards scheme which honours the country’s bravest people.
Andrea Mason has been named as a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2021 after becoming the first woman to complete the gruelling ‘Sea to Summit’ triathlon.
Andrea, who swam, cycled, and ran more than 330 miles in just five days, has reached the final four of the Act Of Courage category in global-hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for the
‘Best of British’ heroes.
Andrea Mason, from Blackpool
The 40-year-old hardly slept during the “insane” challenge in the French Alps.
It involved swimming around the circumference of Lake Annecy, and cycling and running up Mont Blanc – at 15,774 ft the second highest peak in Europe.
She battled through severe pain, cramping, and hallucinations but completed the race in a four days, 23 hours, and 41 minutes.
Andrea said: “Because this wasn’t a race I spent most of the time on my own.
“If you are in a race you have other people to go against but alone, you’re doing it by yourself.”
But for Andrea, who splits her time between Blackpool and Chamonix in France, the challenge was not just a test of her stamina.
She said: “My main motivation was raising awareness about cervical cancer which I was diagnosed with in 2017.
“For me it was important to use this as a platform to encourage other women and young girls not to miss their cervical test which I had ignored over the years.”
Three years ago, Andrea was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and had to undergo a hysterectomy which was when doctors discovered she had cervical cancer.
After she recovered, she set up the charity Lady Talk Matters to raise awareness and normalise the conversation surrounding female reproductive matters.
She said: “The Sea To Summit challenge was also a way of coping with my illness. The endurance challenge gave me something to focus on while I was in hospital. They gave me a goal
for getting better.”
The Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons are in their sixth year.
Andrea will find out if she has won at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden on October 5. Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.