An artist who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer has donated one of her paintings to the hospital that treats her.

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.

Ms Lack said she was inspired to donate a piece of her artwork by Helen Nicell, also a patient at Mount Vernon who has stage four breast cancer. In June, Mrs Nicell won the Watford Area Arts literary competition and came second in the arts competition.

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Contemporary artist Helen Lack. Credit: Helen Lack

She then used her prize money to buy a piece of art by Ms Lack and decided she would donate it to Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.

After hearing about the donation, Ms Lack decided she wanted to give away one of her own pieces.

Mrs Nicell said: "I was delighted to hand over the art work with the artist Helen Lack, who also donated a painting to be hung in the centre.

"Thank you to Watford Council and Watford Together for donating the prize money for the competition. Both Helen and I are patients of Mount Vernon and this is a thank you for the amazing work they do.”

Ms Lack said the paintings will be put on display in the cancer centre with plaques to help "uplift" other patients.

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She added: "It's particularly important for me as I had chemotherapy treatment here and as an artist it's an incredible privilege and an honour to give the hospital pieces of my work.

"One is incredibly colour and is an uplifting piece. It was a thank you for the staff, doctors and nurses while I've been going through treatment this year."

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Paintings that Helen donated. Credit: Helen Lack

Ms Lack said she is happy to see her pieces donated as all her artwork is part of her legacy.

She added: "I now have quite a lot of artworks in hospitals, this is the most incredible legacy that I could leave.

"That's how I feel and why I'm doing it. My aim six or seven months ago was to try and have artwork in hospitals and I feel I've achieved that goal.

"It has given me enormous pleasure to help patients and staff."

The donated paintings were accepted for Mount Vernon by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, which raises funds for the centre.

Beth McNeil, Head of Charity, said: “We were delighted to be presented with two beautiful pieces of art to display at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.

“Both of these talented local ladies are having treatment at Mount Vernon and wanted to give something back to say thank you for the excellent care they have received.

“We would like to thank them both for brightening up the centre for our patients, staff and visitors.”