A Whitefield mum is urging people to listen to their bodies after receiving a shock terminal cancer diagnosis and is also raising money for her funeral.

Former dental nurse Zoe Thomas, 56, was given the devastating diagnosis last month despite feeling fit and healthy and not having been to her GP in 16 years.

It was discovered Zoe had malignant tumours in her brain, lungs and spine.

After previously being in good health, she had not thought about investing in a funeral plan.

Zoe said: “I just assumed it was something that I`d get round to.

“Ive always been in good health and in fact, out of interest, I have been volunteering for various clinical trials over the last 10 years, which meant my health was routinely monitored.

“There had never been any suggestion I had any problems.”

Bury Times: Zoe Thomas after her treatment Zoe Thomas after her treatment (Image: Public)

She added: “Unfortunately my cancer is very aggressive and so it must have happened recently and quickly which is why having to find around £4,000 for my funeral is weighing down on me so heavily.

“I don't want my children to be burdened with the expense so when Lisa stepped in after hearing about my situation, I was absolutely overwhelmed and so grateful for her kindness and friendship.”

Lisa Moran, a friend of Zoe’s and the landlady of the Frigate, has worked at the Joseph Holt pub for four years and after hearing the news, began organising a fundraiser.

This will take place tomorrow, Saturday, at the pub and will include stalls, raffles, a tombola, a fun fair and entertainment, starting from 1pm and going on all day.

Bury Times: Zoe Thomas, 56, from WhitefieldZoe Thomas, 56, from Whitefield (Image: Public)

Lisa said: “Zoe is such a great person and its so hard to process what is happening to her, she is so young and has so much to live for.

“But as well as being my own good friend, she is part of our community – Joseph Holt pubs are part of the community – which is why we are pulling together for her at this difficult time.

“We want to raise at least £4,000 to cover the funeral plan so that at least Zoe can be consoled by the knowledge she isn`t creating pressure for her beloved children.”

Zoe first became aware that something was amiss with her health when she felt what she describes as a "spider's web" sensation on the side of her face several weeks ago.

She then began to develop a slight stutter and would wake up feeling overwhelmingly tired with terrible hangover symptoms if she had so much as just one glass of wine.

Since her sister had previously suffered a stroke, Zoe thought it best to see her GP who, given the family history, organised an MRI scan.

The results revealed the inoperable tumours, one inside her brain, one on the outside, two at the base of her spine and two on her lungs.

She said: “I was absolutely horrified but also completely astonished.

“It seemed impossible for someone who felt as well as I did to be walking around like this, like a ticking timebomb.

“I just kept thinking `I don’t feel ill` yet now I am facing a terminal diagnosis.”

Zoe is currently undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy in a bid to shrink some of the tumours and buy her more time.

In the meantime, she is doing her best to "make memories" with her friends and family – including a birthday party, and trip to Devon.

She says she has been overwhelmed by the support offered by Lisa and all the locals at the Frigate as well as the many gifts she has received as donations for this Saturday`s raffle including contributions from Manchester United and Manchester City.

Zoe is now also urging people to listen to their bodies and check out any symptoms, however slight.

She said: “Doctors told me I might have been dead within two weeks if my cancer hadn`t been found and I hadn`t started treatment to at least contain some of it.

“I know my prognosis is poor but at least I have more time left to be with my children, friends and family and make the most of every minute.

“I remain so grateful to Lisa, the Frigate and all those who donate.”