THE tragic story of a Darlington couple which touched the hearts of people across the country has helped a young widow smash her fundraising target.

In 2012, Nicola Mansfield lost her beloved husband John to brain cancer days after finding out she was pregnant with their twins Archie and Ella – and just weeks before finding out she also had a life-threatening brain tumour.

Mrs Mansfield, 36, shared her moving story with The Northern Echo in July in a bid to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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The story garnered national interest and helped Mrs Mansfield to raise more than £1,200 for the charity that supported her family throughout their ordeal.

She said: “My target was £1,000 and I’m absolutely over the moon to have beaten it.

“I didn’t expect to get the response I did and I’m really pleased to have achieved what I set out to do – raise money for Macmillan and increase awareness of brain tumours in memory of my husband who would be really proud that we did this and chuffed to be in the papers.”

Mrs Mansfield, who is still undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, added: “I’m focusing on getting my strength back at the moment but when I do, I’ll be doing more fundraising for Macmillan as they do an amazing job supporting families and patients - they really made John feel like he was a friend, rather than just another patient.”

To anybody facing a similar situation, she said: “It’s a case of keep fighting as there’s always somebody out there worse off – no matter how hard things are, they could be much worse.”