A MOTHER-of-two with cancer has reached her goal of raising £5,000 for a hospice.

Seven years ago, Anita Almond, who lives in Clayton-le-Dale with her husband Steve, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Since that time, the former hairdresser and Blackburn College tutor has undergone two lots of major surgery and had many cycles of chemotherapy.

Last year, Mrs Almond became very ill and was told the cancer had spread.

Mrs Almond said: “I was told I wasn’t going to get any better but it’s a case of managing it and battling through.”

After accessing complementary therapy at East Lancashire Hospice and receiving home visits from one of their clinical nurse specialists, Mrs Almond agreed to take part in the hospice community campaign.

This was to tell others about the difference it makes to her, to help break down barriers and change the perception that the hospice is a scary place.

On top of this, she has also set about raising £5,000 for the hospice close to her heart, and has smashed her target in five months.

Fundraising has included donations from friends and family of old candles that she has been able to upcycle and sell.

People from the crafting community have donated material that has been used to create greeting cards.

She also held a bring-and-buy sale.

Mrs Almond said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their support in helping me to raise this fabulous amount of money in such a short space of time.

“I really can’t believe how generous people have been.

“In particular I would like to thank my husband Steve and my sisters who have been amazing throughout my illness and my fundraising journey.

“Over the past five months we’ve done all sorts of things to raise this money.

“Friends and family have donated old candles that I’ve been able to upcycle, and many people including the local crafting community have donated an incredible amount of material that I’ve been able to create greetings cards from.

“It has surprised me just how much this fundraising has helped me personally too, it’s kept me focused and given me a real buzz.”

Fundraising manager Sharon Crymble said Mrs Almond was inspirational in every sense of the word.

She said: “Her drive and ambition to achieve her target and the sheer hard work and time she has put into achieving this, with the support of her family and friends, has been incredible to witness.

“She has spent many hours making candles, cards, baking, organising events, to ensure that she reached her goal and by doing this and telling her story, she has helped so many others by taking away some of the fear around the word ‘hospice’.”

While Mrs Almond has smashed her £5,000 target, she doesn’t plan to stop fundraising any time soon.

Her JustGiving page will stay open and she’ll continue to push hard to raise as much money as she can.

Her Just Giving page can be viewed by visiting www.justiving.com/anita-almond