A WOMAN who has been diagnosed with cancer four times in five years has shared her story to help raise money.

Emma Burrow, from Darlington, was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma when she was 25.

Commonly found in people in their early 20s or in adults over the age of 70, around 2,100 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Miss Burrow relapsed three times before she was finally told she was in remission and has stayed that way for over three years.

Now 33, the North East Ambulance Service research assistant volunteers in her spare time at the Cancer Research Shop on Post House Wynd, Darlington, where this year the team has decided to do something different for charity.

As part of the Stand Up to Cancer campaign, staff, volunteers and nominated family members will collectively aim to cycle the 874-mile journey from John O'Groats to Land's End – all from the comfort of an exercise bike set up in the shop's window.

The idea for the challenge was put forward by manager Val Trotter, who has worked at the shop for 17 years, and was enthusiastically supported by Miss Burrow and her fellow volunteer, student Owen Davies.

In slots of half an hour or 15 minutes, the trio and other shop volunteers will cycle as far as they can with the aim of reaching the finish by the time Stand Up to Cancer is aired on October 26.

Miss Burrow said: "It was a brilliant idea of Val's because usually it's just a fundraising day on a street where the volunteers will dress up and things.

"I've personally had treatment that has come from research, so I've experienced first-hand how important it is. The fact that we're doing this, and that Val has done this and challenged us to raise as much money as possible is brilliant.

"I think everybody who volunteers here and works here knows someone who's had cancer, everyone's affected, so it's kind of personal for all of us."

"Now that I'm better this is what I wanted to do, and I wanted to help in whatever way possible."

Owen Davies is a student in Darlington who volunteers during his term holidays.

The 18-year-old said: "I'm all for it. It's an absolutely amazing thing to do, and it's important to keep funding the research and the effect that is has on people's lives."

Manager Val Trotter added: "The shop has been here 30 years and I thought this year we should just go for it."

The team will celebrate the end of their challenge with a Halloween party at the shop on October 27.

More information about the Stand Up to Cancer campaign can be found at standuptocancer.org