A WOMAN who was diagnosed with cancer and relapsed three times in the space of four years will be challenging herself to raise money for the charity that helped save her life.

Emma Burrow, a volunteer at Cancer Research UK in Darlington, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - an aggressive and uncommon form of cancer - in 2011.

She was treated with chemotherapy which put her cancer into remission, however, she relapsed only two months later after discovering a lump in her neck.

More chemotherapy followed, and it was decided by doctors that an autologous stem cell transplant, which used Emma’s own stem cells, would be the best option.

Two years later in 2014, Emma sadly relapsed for a second time.

The Northern Echo:

She said: "Doctors always said there was chance that my cancer could come back but because I relapsed very quickly the first time, I was feeling good at this point so it was really devastating when I relapsed."

This time, she was given stem cell transplant from a donor in Portugal.

She said: "I sent my donor a thank you card shortly after my transplant, to say thank you for giving me a second chance of life. However, when I was still in hospital recovering I relapsed for a third time.

"Doctors gave me a terminal diagnosis which was devastating. However, I was given palliative chemo which amazingly put me in remission, which doctors didn’t expect at all."

Four years later, Emma remains in remission and will be running the Simplyhealth Great North Run on September 8 to raise money for Anthony Nolan - the blood cancer charity which found Emma her donor.

The Northern Echo:

Emma’s best friend of over 20 years, Leanne, will be taking part in the run with her.

Emma said: "I would love to meet my donor but unfortunately the Portuguese stem cell donor register doesn’t allow patients to get in contact with their donors.

"This lady has only given a few hours of her time but what she did for me is unbelievable. I would love to see her and say you saved me.

"I’m very nervous but the atmosphere will keep me going. I was in the crowd last year so I know how great it can be.’