A HEREFORD woman is hard at work training for a marathon bid to raise funds for a vital county cause close to her heart.

Hereford Couriers Running Club member Amy Smith, 35, is gearing up to take her place in the Newport Marathon to raise money for the County Hospital's Macmillan Renton Unit, where her lifelong friend received cancer treatment.

"Donna and I met at Lord Scudamore school when we were three years old and soon became the best of friends," Amy said.

"We went through primary school together and joined as brownies at the same community hall. We were inseparable."

Their friendship continued through secondary school, and was later only strengthened when both found out they were pregnant within days of each other.

But, shortly after the birth of her son, Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"She had treatment straight away and she had a great support team of family and friends around her," Amy said.

"Donna never stopped fighting. She had this inner strength that I had never seen before.

"Donna's positive attitude, determination and strength inspires me every day and I want to say thank you to the Macmillan Renton Unit, which helped her in her time of need.

"As many of you know, running a marathon is about strength, determination and staying strong. I have learned this from Donna over the past few years, and I am out to do her half as proud as I am of her."

Amy, who has been running for the Hereford Couriers since she was 21, will take her position at the starting line in Newport on May 5.

To make a donation, visit Amy's fundraising page at https://www.gofundme.com/running-for-friendship