THE family of a woman who has raised more than £50,000 during a 40 year stretch of fundraising activities despite battling cancer six times say they are "so proud" of her "fighting spirit".

Despite her own struggles, Margaret Thomas, 79, from Holyhead, has managed to raise the staggering amount for the likes of Cancer Research UK.

Mrs Thomas was awarded an MBE for her charity work six years ago and underwent heart bypass surgery just three years later.

She is now still in remission but has just recently raised a further £1050 for the Holyhead Cancer Support Group through collecting raffle tickets.

Son Mark, 55, who lives in Rhyl says he takes "so much inspiration" from his mum and has followed in her fundraising footsteps.

“She’s a real hero and a true fighter,” he said.

“Because of her I've been inspired to do some fundraising of my own. I give money to several charities and also pay for people's taxi fares, board and so on when they visit family at Bodelwyddan Hospital."

North Wales Chronicle:

PICTURE: Mark Thomas with mum Margaret on the day she received her MBE.

Daughter Michelle added: "She is such a strong, inspirational woman and she always puts everybody before herself."

Mrs Thomas received an MBE for her services to charity in 2012 and travelled to Buckingham Palace to be honoured.

"I met Prince Charles who was absolutely lovely," she said..

"I enjoy raising money for charity - particularly for beast cancer causes as I believe the number of people suffering is on the rise. I myself have had it twice."

Mrs Thomas has also battled a melanoma in her leg and a pollips "the size of an orange".

"You can beat cancer, you just have to stay positive," she added.

"I'd like to thank those who supported me over the years, including in Dublin, where my brother used to live."