A mum of three who has bravely fought a long-standing battle with cancer is facing a race against the clock to raise money for life saving treatment.

Joanna Francis, 45, of Chandler’s Ford, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2008 and lost her hearing as a result.

She's had to repeatedly 'adjust her sails' time and time again to navigate her way through the ordeal and published a book in 2016 called ‘She Stood in the Storm’ to document her journey.

After having many treatments and operations over the years through the NHS she has found that the complex spinal surgery she now requires will have to be privately funded. The two-stage operation involves treatment on her nerves to help reduce the “agonising and debilitating” pain and manage the disease so she can continue living.

She said: “After having many treatments and operations over the years I find myself at a point where I can no longer receive the help I need from the NHS. Therefore, I humbly ask for any donations that can be made to support my treatment and any contribution at all would be greatly appreciated. It hasn’t been easy to come to this decision, especially with everything going on in the world but sadly the only way I can access the healthcare I need is through funding it.

“I genuinely can’t thank everyone who has donated enough as I only have a few weeks left and if I don’t get this treatment, to put it bluntly, I will die.

“This battle which goes on and on and has already taken so much from me, which I suppose is the ugly truth of this disease. Although I fight, it is taking its toll on me, and I know I will never ever be the same again.

“I will never know another day of my life without dread, but I still want to find joy in each one. I know some days that is harder to do than others as the fear and sadness get too much. So, I will continue on for as long as possible. No matter how long we have on this earth we need to truly live!”

After having to give up her career as a teacher in Chandler's Ford due to her hearing loss and declining health, Joanna continued to give back to the community. She launched a small business where she made satchels and gave profits to Wessex Cancer Trust, later sewing dolls for children with cancer. More recently, she has also run a candle-making business, with a portion of profits going to cancer charities, too.

Since posting a link to her GoFundMe page on social media on Thursday, April 7, the amount donated has risen from £9,000 to £14,000. However, Joanna still needs to raise another £20,000 to reach her £34,000 goal within a few weeks.

To donate, visit: gofund.me/bf8b5bff