Sue Cressman has beaten breast cancer twice
Talented singer Sue Cressman put out Survive this month, with profits going to help fellow sufferers. The 60-year-old and husband Rick, 68, have already raised more than £100,000 to buy vital hospital equipment. Rick has battled a tragedy of his own. His brother Tom Cressman was murdered by the Duchess of York’s former aide, Jane Andrews. Sue, 60, discovered a lump in her breast in February 1992 when she was 32. Her GP told her it was nothing to worry about but months later she collapsed in pain while on a public speaking trip to Dallas, Texas.
US medics advised her to get home quickly and see a cancer specialist.
Doctors who saw her in Birmingham broke the bad news that the cancer was at an advanced stage.
Sue was so frail she had to spend 10 months in a hospice while undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to beat the cancer.
“I was dangerously ill. But I knew from the day I was diagnosed I would beat it.
“I didn’t start digging my grave. I kept my full make-up on and sang to all the patients in the hospice,” Sue recalls.
Remarkably, she recovered. But in 2013, the cancer returned and Sue had a full mastectomy and 16 corrective surgeries afterwards.
This month, the businesswoman released her single, which she hopes will inspire others, as well as raise charity cash.
“The song is called Survive, and it’s the will to survive you’ve got to cling on to,” said Sue, who runs the Nailcote Hall hotel inWarwickshire, with Rick.
“I put the words together because I want other breast cancer patients to be inspired and encouraged.
Charity single “Survive”
“It’s about the will to survive. Survive is the first emotion you feel when you have a diagnosis of any life-threatening illness.
“The first line of the song is ‘I know it’s a long road but you’ve got to keep on going’, and that is the other message I want to get out there.”
She says Rick, was able to help her write the lyrics because the tragedy of his sibling’s death helped him to understand her battle and will to survive.
Sue met Rick in 2003 – after his brother Tom was killed by lover, Jane Andrews, Sarah Ferguson’s royal dresser at his home in Fulham, London, in September 2000.
Andrews had flown into a rage and murdered Tom, 39, after he had told her he had no intention of marrying her. While Tom, a successful stockbroker and businessman, was sleeping Andrews now, 52, hit him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him to death with a knife.
In November 2009, after serving nine years of a life sentence she escaped from the East Sutton Park Prison in Kent. After three days on the run she was captured in a hotel, just six miles from the prison. Andrews was released on licence in May 2015 and jailed again in 2018 after harassing a former lover.
Tom Cressman and killer Jane Andrews
Sue said: “I am so sad for the family. I had to go through the process of Jane’s appeal and her escape from prison.
“It has been horrendous.
“I would have loved to have met Tom. People have said he was a complete gentleman. I am sure that’s why my husband put these words together.”
Sue now hosts a fundraising Pink Ball twice a year at the hotel to buy equipment for local cancer units.
She has donated ultrasound scanners, Hilotherapy machines that reduce pain after surgery, infuser kits, as well as walking sticks and garden furniture for chemotherapy units.
“I said from day one that if I get through this I’m going to help other women,” explains Sue, from Dorridge, Solihull.
“When you have such a life-threatening illness, the only way I’ve been able to get through all of this is positivity. I am a very positive person, and I’m here for a reason,” she said.
Last year Sue was asked by friend BBC presenter Trish Adudu, to audition for the Gosp-Ability choir headed by gospel singer Sandra Godley.
Tom’s brother Rick with Sue
She was accepted and joined the choir when it sang on the One Show Live from the Guildhall in Windsor, the venue for the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
This performance was broadcast prior to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018.
Singing with the choir inspired Sue to write her own single.
She said: “My dream is if Survive is successful I could put a piece of equipment in every big city in the UK to help breast cancer sufferers.
“I think it’s unlikely, but you know something, I’m going to try.
“If I can give comfort and courage to just one person through my song, then that will make me happy.”
Survive can be downloaded at https://music.apple.com/album/1478501509?app=itunes&ls=1
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