A CANCER survivor celebrated her diamond wedding anni-versary just days after undergoing pioneering surgery.

June Knott enjoyed a party with her husband, Alf, and family members after a gruelling eight-hour operation to repair radiation damage.

The 79-year-old received an overdose of radiation 20 years ago, while being treated for breast cancer.

It is believed she is only the second woman in Essex to have the surgery.

Mrs Knott, of Stansted Way, Frinton, said: “I had all this burning for 20 years. It was horrible.

“It just eats you away. The doctor said if I didn’t have the operation, it would eat me away and finish me.”

Surgeons at Basildon Hospital stripped away the damaged parts of her body.

Mrs Knott said: “They took everything away, right down to my ribs, and rebuilt me up. It is marvellous.”

She was well enough to enjoy the celebration at her home, surrounded by about 20 family members.

The couple met when June was 14. While working on the tea counter at a BHS store, she got into conversation with Alf, then 15, who was a customer.

They began dating, and married four years later, after Alf finished National Service.

The pair have two daughters, Linda and Valerie, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.