A POLO player from Andover is making a stand against cancer after helping her mum battle the disease.

Natasha Ball along with boyfriend Fabian and pal Louise Gould, pimped their pins and donned bright orange tutus in defiance of the disease as they help highlight Stand Up To Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.

Tasha’s mum Vee, 58, has just finished treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer in April last year. She was told the news five years after losing her sister Svetlana to breast cancer, aged 62.

Mum-of-two Vee, knew immediately that something was wrong when she noticed her left breast had turned a peculiar shape.

Vee, from Andover, said: “It was difficult to describe how it looked, it was just a very odd shape. Tasha thought it was like someone had taken a pen and twisted it around in the skin.

“It was a shock as I’d had a mammogram just a few months earlier which had led to a recall and a biopsy on my right breast but that turned out to be benign.

“When I was referred to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester for further tests they actually found two tumours in my left breast. The largest was actually 4cm and not the 2mm that consultants originally believed it was.”

Vee started chemotherapy straight away which proved very effective. In November last year she had a lumpectomy and then was given a course of radiotherapy at University Hospital Southampton which began just before Christmas.

Vee said: “I lost my hair, eyebrows and lashes which was hard. But at no point during any of this did I think it was going to get me. I focussed on keeping going, staying as active as possible and keeping positive.”

“The only day I have actually cried since being told I had cancer was a few weeks ago when I had my final Herceptin injection and the kind receptionist who had come to know me well, gave me a hug.”

Vee added: “Overall I have been very lucky as I have an amazing and very supportive family and circle of friends.”

By her side throughout the ordeal has been husband Jeff, 59, and their children David, 25 and Natasha, 24.

Horse-loving Natasha was in her final year at university in Bristol, where she had learned to play polo, when her mum broke the news.

She said: “When you are told someone close to you has cancer it’s devastating. You feel helpless.

“I decided to tackle that feeling by doing something positive to help people like my mum now and in the future and I came up with the idea of holding a polo match to raise money for vital research.

Natasha approached her local club, Druids Lodge in Salisbury, who were fully supportive and the first ever Play For A Cure charity day took place raising more than £3,000 for Cancer Research UK. The event was held once again earlier this month, raising £3,200.

Natasha said: “I know only too well the importance of research – my mum is here and is testament to that. It’s thanks to research that she’s still standing. That’s why we are supporting this vitally important campaign.”