AN INSPIRATIONAL grandmother and businesswoman is determined to prove that cancer can be the beginning of life rather than the end.

Barnton woman Mandi Paul was diagnosed with breast cancer in August and is part way through chemotherapy treatment.

She is also facing months of surgery and radiotherapy but insists that the disease has changed her life for the better.

“I just want to make people aware that it isn’t as bad, it’s not the end,” she said.

“It’s changed my life completely.

“Two years ago I resigned from my job because of stress, it wasn’t a very good time.

“I fought that battle and now I’m fighting this battle and I’m stronger than ever now, nothing gets me down, I wake up with a smile on my face.”

The 43-year-old has a son and a daughter as well as a six-year-old grandson and a 12-week-old granddaughter.

“I’ve got into baking cakes, I’ve changed my personality so much,” she said.

“I think my story could be good for people just starting this long journey.

“When you’re first diagnosed it’s a shock, it’s frightening, but you can get through.

“After surgery I’ve got to have three weeks of radiotherapy but I just say ‘bring it on’, everything they’re doing is going to give me my life back.

“It will be a year out of my life but for the rest of my life it’s worth it.”

Despite all she is facing, Mandi has continued to work throughout the first part of her chemotherapy.

She runs her own business, CITC Plant Training, from her home in Cherry Tree Avenue, and organises training courses for people in the construction plant industry.

For every booking she receives she plans to donate a proportion to Cancer Research UK.

“I feel I need to give something back and I’m not up for running marathons,” she said.

“Without treatment I wouldn’t be here – I’m proud to be bald because it proves I’m fighting it.”

Anyone who can help Mandi’s fundraising should email