A woman who is on a mission to raise money to fund research into pancreatic cancer has received a welcome boost after winning a competition worth £1,000.

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Primary school teacher Rachel Cooke of Deacon Drive, Hethersett, lost her mum, Sandra Banasik, to pancreatic cancer last year.

Miss Cooke, 28, won the competition, hosted by the charity website Just Giving, which saw 140 people share their stories about their personal charity challenges. The story which was shared the most online won a £1,000 donation for their charity.

“About 140 people entered and then they narrowed it down to a shortlist of nine. I had more than 1,400 people sharing it on Facebook,” she said. “I was at school when I found out that I had won and I screamed in class - the children all asked me if I was OK.”

Miss Cooke, a teacher at Bawburgh Primary School, had intended to raise £1,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK but the latest donation has seen her break the £3,000 barrier.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I have asked that my money goes towards research.”

Her mum battled the illness for 18 months and Miss Cooke has set her own 18-month challenge to raise money and awareness of the cancer. She has made and sold hundreds of sock cats and she will take part in the Bungay half marathon in April.

*To support Miss Cooke, visit www.justgiving.com/rachel-cooke3

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