THE memory of a woman who died of cancer will stand proudly in bronze forever thanks to her family's touching tribute.

Beverly Gardner and her husband, David, created a plaster cast of their hands before the Carterton resident passed away last September.

Shortly after Mrs Gardner's death, her daughter, Laura Butt, entered a competition run by The Edinburgh Casting Studio to have the cast made in bronze.

Despite hundreds of entries from across the world, the 36-year-old was announced as winner, and the treasured possession now sits safely in Mr Gardner's house.

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Ms Butt initially gave the DIY home casting kit to her parents for Christmas in 2017 and revealed it had been an emotional gift for all of them.

She said: "Mum was overwhelmed when she opened it, as we all knew the importance of this treasured memory.

"It took quite a few months before mum was well enough to do the casting, but we managed to get it done together, having a giggle along the way.

"They've done a fantastic job of the bronze cast. It's something we can keep forever and feels like you're touching her hand."

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Mr and Mrs Gardner had been living in Cyprus, but the mum-of-three fell ill when they came back to visit family in July 2017.

Just one month later she was diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

Mrs Gardner had chemotherapy and her treatment was stopped last February, but she continued to live her life.

Ms Butt said: "I can't speak highly enough of my mum. Every time she could get out and carry on as normal she would.

"She was really strong and kept fighting as hard as she could."

This was shown in Mrs Gardner's determination to participate in the Race for Life in Oxford last year, which she completed while on oxygen.

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She managed to walk the distance, raising more than £3,000 alongside her 12-strong team, 'I lung for a cure'.

This year, the team has 29 members and the fundraising total currently sits at almost £5,000.

Ms Butt added: "She was a warrior, even the doctors didn't expect her to do the race.

"Mum would be so proud of that total and we will continue to raise money in her memory.

"She was determined to help others who may have a similar diagnosis to herself, with little or no chance of successful treatment."

Mrs Gardner's whole family completed the original casting together, with her two other children, Jason, 41, and Jemma Gardner, 39, also taking part.

Ms Butt was announced as competition winner in November and the bronze cast was made earlier this year at the South London Foundry.