A YOUNG woman who died of cancer aged 29 is the inspiration behind a charity event to fund research into the disease.

As reported in The Gazette, Victoria Van Der Westhuizen, from Hook, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer on November 13 2013, and died two months later on January 13.

Her death came almost a year after her father, David Eastman, died in January 2013, after suffering from cerebral lymphoma.

Her funeral was held in All Saints' Church, in Odiham, where Victoria had married her husband CJ just 13 months earlier.

Before her death, Victoria, a make-up artist and model, had vowed to start a charity to support victims of cancer, having also lost her grandmother to the illness as a child, and seeing her mother, Fiona Eastman, battle bowel cancer.

Now, her family is honouring her promise by continuing with her fundraising efforts in her memory, and has set up a charity called Victoria's Promise.

The first fundraising event will take place on June 14 - the day Victoria would have turned 30.

Aptly named Victoria Sponge Bake Day, Victoria's family is asking people to bake a cake, share it with family, friends and colleagues, and donate £3 to the charity for each slice shared.

Her mother, Fiona, from Hook, said: “We are determined to fulfil her dream and strive to create initiatives to directly support and improve the quality of life for young women battling the disease in whatever way they need during their treatment and beyond.”

Some of the money raised through Victoria's Promise will fund research by Victoria's oncologist, Professor Justin Stebbing, to find cures for complex cancers.

Mrs Eastman said her daughter had taken up baking in the last year of her life, adding: “It gave her huge pleasure creating cakes and sharing them with family and friends. Victoria's driving desire throughout her fight with cancer was to beat the disease and live to spend time with her husband and raise a family. She wanted to use her positivity and energy to find a way to help support others through their battle with cancer. That was her promise.”

Businesses, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants are also being invited to help raise funds by serving Victoria Sponge Cake to customers and staff this week and next, and make a donation to the charity.

For more information visit victoriaspromise.com.