It was six years ago when a mum from Swanley heard the shattering news that she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.

Samantha King, now 41, was a healthy ex-gymnast who never smoked.

Six months of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy at the Darent Valley Hospital meant losing her hair, eye brows and eye lashes.

Recently becoming a single parent, Sam says her daughter Ellie - eight at the time of diagnosis - has got her through a painful few years.

“She is my rock,” Sam said.

During treatment, Ellie would sing and dance around her mum to make her smile.

“I knew watching her then that giving up wasn’t an option. I was determined to watch her grow, watch her follow her dreams and be there on her wedding day.”

Ellie is now 14 and has been working as a model, actor and dancer since she was six-years-old.

She is soon cutting eight inches of her hair off to raise money for the nurses who treated her mum.

Sam spoke about the Darent Valley nurses in Dartford who supported her and her daughter through the cancer journey.

She said: “They were faultless. They really looked after Ellie and would ring her on their personal phones and check if she was ok.

“My nurse sent her notebooks and pens in the post. They brought her to the prayer room to put something on the prayer tree. They were amazing.”

Sam is now cancer free despite still suffering from past operations.

Four months ago her daughter told her she wanted to cut her hair.

Sam said: “One day she just told me she wants to donate her hair because we know what it is like and that she wants to make a little girl happy.

“It is her hair that gets her all her modelling but I said it is amazing if she wants to do that. I told her the jobs will go on hold for a bit. She loves modelling, acting and dancing, it is her life.

“She just amazes me. I am so proud of her.”

The original fundraising target for Darent Valley Hospital was £500 but the JustGiving page has now surpassed the £700 mark.

Ellie is now hoping to get into a sixth form drama school before continuing on to university.

Her mum said: “She is a very humble kid and has never been a show off. She doesn’t tell people at school why she is leaving early for this job or that one.

“When we have our struggles, Ellie reminds me that if we can get through cancer together, we can get through anything.”

You can help Sam and Ellie raise money for the Darent Valley nursing team here.

Ellie is donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust.