AN inspirational Barrow teacher who used her breast cancer diagnosis to raise funds for a popular cancer charity has been left speechless after amassing more than £10,000 in nine months.

Danielle Fitzsimons, 34, who recently returned to work full-time at St Pius X Catholic Primary School in Barrow, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in October last year.

After completing bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the mother-of-two decided to raise money for Cancer Research by abstaining from alcohol for the whole of January with friends from school.

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They then decided to do a fundraising event for every month of the year with the intention of raising a whopping £10,000 for charity.

Nine months later and the entourage known as "Fighting Fitz" have surpassed their original target, much to Miss Fitzsimons' surprise.

She said: "We decided to do the January Dryathlon and then more ideas came to us and it just snowballed from there really. I never thought it would be as big as this.

"It is amazing so many people have heard about what we are doing and I think because cancer touches so many people's lives, more and more people have got on board with it.

"It's great to know that even though I am better, people still want to raise awareness - it leaves me speechless sometimes, it really does.

"At times it has been overwhelming. I am a very positive person but I don't think I would have got through it had it not been for all the support we have received."

Miss Fitzsimons, who is a mum to 13-year-old daughter Asha and five-year-old son Vinnie, now receives injections once every three weeks with her last injection pencilled in for December 22.

However, the 34-year-old wants to raise another couple of thousand pounds by the end of the year, starting with a charity football match at Dalton United's ground on Sunday at 1pm.

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She added: "It should be an absolutely brilliant match and a great opportunity to raise more awareness and funds for the charity.

"It has been great to give something back and it will be a nice feeling at the end of the year to tot up everything that we have raised."

On Sunday September 18, members of Dalton United FC will be taking on the Fighting Fitz team in a 90-minute football match at Railway Meadow, Dalton.

The match kicks off at 1pm with tickets priced at £2 for adults and children allowed to get in for free.