An artist who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer turned to photography and painting to help her cope.

Helen Lack, from Aldenham, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 24 after returning from her holiday in Australia.

On February 8, she was told she had a rare form called triple negative breast cancer.

It is an uncommon type of cancer where the cancer cells do not have receptors for oestrogen, progesterone and the Her2 protein.

Watford Observer:

Helen outside Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood.

Ms Lack said her form is also aggressive and said she was "scared and afraid" when she was told.

Ms Lack is an artist and photographer who received the International Botticelli Prize in contemporary art last year.

She added: "I was hoping to get good news but it got worse.

"But I've come to terms with it, I feel stronger as an artist and I have a whole different outlook."

As soon as she was told about her diagnosis Ms Lack immediately turned to painting and photography as an emotional outlet.

She said: "I was determined to paint and photograph and immediately it was a release of emotion and my thoughts."

Watford Observer:

The first piece she created after her diagnosis.

Watford Observer:

Another piece of her artwork.

Ms Lack has also been taking photos of her medical journey while going through her first round of chemotherapy.

She decided last Tuesday (March 3) on triple negative breast cancer day to set up a fundraising page.

But she was shocked of the attention it caused and so far has raised nearly £1,500 for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation through donations and sales of her artwork.

She will also continue to create paintings and take photographs during her journey which will be displayed at an exhibition later in the year.

She said: "There has been an outpour of support from the community in the last four days.

"I've been told I'm brave to be doing such as fundraisers in such a difficult time.

"You can fight whatever you want if you have the right mindset of positivity."

To support Ms Lack's fundraising initiative, go to: