A GROUP of friends are organising a charity night after one of them was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Laura Hodgkinson, of Bag Lane, Atherton, was having IVF treatment when a golf-ball-sized tumour was found near her bladder and she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

After undergoing intense radiotherapy, two courses of internal Brach therapy and four chemotherapy treatments, Laura is nearing the end of her treatment and decided to hold a charity night to raise money for The Christie.

The 27-year-old, who is currently on sick leave from her job as a link worker at a Sure Start centre, said: "I wanted to raise money for The Christie because they have been so great during my treatment but I also want to encourage other women to go for cervical screening.

"My 'besties', as I call them, have been amazing. I asked them for help while I was still ill and they have done everything I have asked to make this happen."

Laura met her best friends Julianne Foster, Carla Grainey, Kerrie Lamb and Jennifer King when they all danced for the Hag Fold Morris Dancers.

Julianne said: "There is still a chance that, after the treatment, if the tumour has not gone Laura will then have to undergo a radical hysterectomy.

"The aim is to raise as much money as we can for a very good cause and at the same time celebrate Laura's future, because without The Christie this may not have been possible."

The event will be held at Formby Hall in Atherton on May 10 and the group are asking for businesses to donate prizes for the raffle.

"We are asking if you can help, please donate a prize.

"Anything would be much appreciated and nothing will be turned away,"

Julianne added.

To find out more or to buy raffle tickets, visit www.facebook.com/groups/laurasfundraiser.