A woman who was inspired by her best friends' battles with cancer has helped raise almost £20,000 for charity.

Sara Nathan has rounded up 139 women to take part in Cancer Research UK's Race for Life after Sara Collins, from Mill Hill, and Pipa Oliveri, from Brookmans Park were diagnosed with the disease.

She decided to set up a group to run under the name ‘Sara n Pippa Kick Ass’, in the hopes of getting 100 women to each raise £10,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Mrs Nathan, who lives in Bushey, said watching her two best friends suffer has been heartbreaking.

She said: “To see your friends go through the treatment for cancer is soul destroying. You want to stay strong for them but inside you are crying. Without my best friends I am nothing.

"Too many people are going through this. Watching my two best friends suffer is the most awful thing I have experienced.

"I decided I wanted to raise money to help find a cure within our lifetime and came up with the idea."

Sara Collins was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and has been through chemotherapy, a full mastectomy, and now faces radiotherapy and further surgery.

She will also be taking part in the race, on June 15.

Pipa Oliveri, who lives in Brookmans Park Park, was originally diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer last November.

But during an operation in December, doctors found two further tumours.

Her treatment includes six chemotherapy sessions, followed by a month of radiotherapy.

Mrs Oliveri, a mother of four, said: "The support has been overwhelming and we can’t believe how much has been raised."

The Race for Life run is taking place on Sunday June 15 at Cassiobury Park. To donate to the Kick Ass team visit www.justgiving.com/sara-n-pipa-kick-ass