A SURVIVOR is preparing to celebrate her second Christmas in remission with a freshly decorated kitchen, thanks to a cancer charity working with a generous decorating business.

Dee Donoghue, 38, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in January 2017 and after chemotherapy relapsed again in January 2018.

The Newton Aycliffe mother needed a different form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant and is now ‘defying the odds,’ according to consultants, in her remission.

The former teacher now volunteers on a regular basis for the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust, based in County Durham, in its charity shop alongside founder Mark Solan.

Ms Donoghue said: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to work with Mark and his team to help support other people who have been through the same experience as me and to give something back to the community.

“I mentioned to Mark that my kitchen could use a bit of care and attention – I’m the mum of two little girls and two dogs, so it’s a nightmare for paw and finger prints – and he put me in touch with Stephen Nicholson, who donates a lot of his time to help improve the lives of cancer survivors by redecorating for them.”

S Nicholson and Sons is based in Bishop Auckland and specialises in the renovation of listed and heritage buildings and also provides services as part of the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust's pledge to improve the lives of people in County Durham.

Stephen Nicholson, managing director of the business said: “I got involved with team Solan a few years ago when my dad was receiving treatment for cancer, and I was blown away by the incredible work it does.

“Sometimes, just sitting in a decorated room can boost someone’s mood and help with the recovery process. It only takes my team a few hours but can improve the person’s mood for months. It’s really rewarding, and we’re delighted to help.”

Mr Solan added: “I’ve visited people’s homes after they’ve had a visit from Stephen, and it makes the world of difference to them.

“Dee is amazing, I’m delighted I’ve been able to help."