FRIENDSHIP really does run deep as one woman will prove when she tackles a sponsored swim in aid of a pal who is fighting cancer.

When Elizabeth Reeve heard her good friend Sam Finley had been diagnosed with breast cancer she immediately wanted to help.

A regular swimming she decided to set herself a challenge in the pool to raise money to send Mrs Finley, who lives in a neighbouring street in Newton Aycliffe, on a family holiday once her treatment is over.

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Mrs Reeve, 41, said: "I was heartbroken when she told me, her attitude is amazing and inspirational but it is hard on her and the family.

"I just want to be able to do this for her, give her something to look forward to."

Mrs Finley, a mother of three, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer last July and had an operation to remove a tumour along with her lymph nodes, one of which was cancerous.

She is currently going through chemotherapy at Bishop Auckland Hospital, which will be followed by radiotherapy at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

She first realised something was wrong after she bumped her chest while moving a couch and the resulting bruise disappeared but a lump did not.

Mrs Finley, 35, said: "I have been lucky really, they got the cancer out and I'm having really intensive treatment now to make sure it doesn't come back.

"Elizabeth asked what we'd do if she was able to raise some money for us, I would love a family holiday to get away, relax, have fun together at the end of this."

Mrs Finley's oldest son Adam, 17, has autism which is an extra challenge for her and husband Andrew if they want to go away and Mr Finley recently gave up his job at Permoid in Newton Aycliffe to look after his wife and children.

If enough money is raised for a holiday, Adam will probably enjoy some respite while the couple take their children Amy, eight, and Josh, four, away together.

"I think it is amazing what she is doing for us, I'd love people to support her," said Mrs Finley.

Mrs Reeve, who has a business called Elizabeth's Elite Cleaning, hopes to swim 100 lengths of the pool at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre in the Swim For Sam Swimathon on Sunday, November 19.

She can be sponsored online at