When a doctor tells you that you are so ill you need to call an ambulance it’s hard to believe him – especially if you’ve only gone in for a strange rash.

But Eve Went was warned not even to seek a second opinion because: “They said I might not live long enough to see someone.”

She was suffering a rare and complicated condition which essentially meant her body had become ‘allergic’ to a cancer.

“I’d been playing tennis and the doctor initially thought it might be sunburn or a heat rash,” she says.

“Everything went haywire very quickly, I couldn’t walk, lift my arms, brush my hair and could hardly swallow and I was in hospital for about three and a half months,” she says.

A former nurse and now entrepreneur, Eve was well aware of what the treatment would do to her.

“I lost all my hair, did radiotherapy, got discharged home really poorly, started to get better and then had another setback,” she says.

“But during all that journey I thought ‘I am so blessed’ and prayed that if I could just get through this I will do something to put back into life.”

During her hospital treatment, which started in 2004, Eve noticed that the gowns for patients were ‘very ill-fitting’ and that the bra service for women who had undergone mastectomy was based in Dorchester - convenient for those who lived in the west of the county but a trek for women in Bournemouth and Poole.

She learned of cancer patients who couldn’t pay their electricity bills and started to hear stories, such as the one from the Portland patient who had to take three buses each way, every day for weeks, just to get to Poole for a 10-minute radiation therapy.

So, in 2012, together with Pam Jeffries and Leslie-May Harrison she helped launch a cancer charity for Dorset patients, paying for the everyday costs and hardships they might face and helped set up schemes to rectify the bra and gown situation.

Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) gives grants for everything from childcare for women having chemotherapy, counselling for the children of sufferers, to wigs following treatment and even hospital car parking.

“We pay for the little things that make life easier for patients,” says Eve.

Applicants have to have a letter from their doctor or consultant, stating their need, and the charity takes it from there. In their first year alone they raised £20,000 and last year received £250,000 from an American called Steve Blonstein who grew up in Wimborne.

The charity’s Awareness Week starts on September 12 and will feature a number of events including a curry night and a ball and a shop-dressing event in Canford Cliffs.

Now the ball is rolling, Eve is taking a back-seat from fundraising to publicise the charity. “It’s a Dorset charity for people in Dorset,” she says.

If you can help or would like help, contact dccf.co.uk