A woman who was left infertile after cervical cancer was offered the chance of motherhood when her husband's ex-wife offered to be her surrogate.
In an incredible act of generosity, Julie Brackenbury, 34, offered to carry a baby for Rebecca Hankins and her ex-husband Scott, and even went through gruelling IVF treatment to have the couple's embryos implanted into her womb.
The couple, from Stamford, Lincolnshire, had been trying for a baby for a year when Rebecca started to suffer bleeding after sex, caused by a polyp on her cervix.
Aged just 27, she was then told that the polyp was cancerous.
She told Take a Break magazine: "I was devastated, but it was more the fact it would leave me childless than the cancer itself that worried me."
Rebecca had to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well as surgery to remove some of her lymph nodes.
As a result of the radiotherapy she was told she would not be able to carry a child and would go into early menopause.
Rebecca was desperate to have a baby so she delayed her treatment to allow her to harvest some of her eggs and freeze some embryos.
She said: "For me there was no point having cancer treatment if I couldn't have a baby so there was no question about it."
Once she'd recovered from her cancer treatment, she started to look into her fertility options.
It was then that Julie, who has five of her own children, offered to be a surrogate.
Julie said: "Watching them go through cancer was hard and I got close to Rebecca.
"The thought of them not being able to have a baby was awful and it was the thought of what I could give them at the end that made me want to do it."
Rebecca recalled: "Julie is a very motherly sort of person and we had grown quite close. She understood my need to be a mum. But, despite this, I was mind-blown when she offered to be our surrogate."
Eventually, in 2010, Julie went through two round of IVF during each of which she had two of Rebecca's embryos implanted into her womb.
Sadly, neither of the IVF cycles worked and Julie didn't become pregnant.
Rebecca, now 33, said: "It was devastating when the pregnancy test was negative. I collapsed in a heap the second time as I knew I had no more frozen eggs to try. I was grateful for everything she had done."
Julie added: "It was dreadful, it was awful – it really was heart-breaking. She took it hard but she was strong with it.
"I felt really responsible and I felt I was letting her down. It didn't really matter that the father would have been my ex-husband – it did raise a few eyebrows though."
Rebecca and Julie are still friends and Rebecca has now been given the five year all-clear from her cervical cancer.
But in a sad twist, Rebecca's marriage to Scott broke down because she wanted to look into adoption and he didn't.
She now has a new partner, Mark, and the pair are considering adoption.
Rebecca said: "A baby would be the ideal situation as I would like the experience of having a baby but we would consider a child of any age. I would love to have two eventually."
Rebecca is holding a Night In fundraising event on May 16 to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support as the charity supported her when she was ill.
The charity's Night In idea sees people have friends round for an evening and they each donate what they would have spent on a night out.
Rebecca said: "I want to give something back to the charity that helped me. "A lot of women don't talk about female cancer and Macmillan gave me useful advice and emotional support."
Rebecca and Julie are hosting Night In for Macmillan on Friday 16th May. The event is simply about having friends round for a catch up, a laugh and something to eat and drink. It's one of the exciting ways you can support Macmillan Cancer Support and ensure no one faces cancer alone. To register to host your own Night In visit Nightin.macmillan.org.uk.