A GREENOCK woman is on a mission to raise awareness of ovarian cancer after losing her mum to the condition.

Claire Stone was left devastated when her mother Dorothy Banks passed away eight years ago after being diagnosed.

The 36-year-old is now determined to help the organisation Target Ovarian Cancer - which aims to improve early diagnosis, fund lifesaving research and provide much-needed support to patients.

She said: "My mum was diagnosed in March 2009 and she passed away in February 2011.

"She felt quite bloated, which is one of the main symptoms, one of the big ones to watch out for.

"She visited her GP who was great and she was very quickly sent for tests.

"But despite the fact that my mum had a quick diagnosis, the cancer was much further on.

"There is a 90 per cent survival rate if it is caught early."

Iain Banks, Claire's dad, who lives in Brisbane Street, says his wife underwent lots of different treatment.

He said: "They were trying different chemotherapy and all sorts of things."

Claire added: "She took part in a clinical trial as well just to her bit to move along the development of treatment."

Claire said her mum, who was a music teacher, senior occupational therapist and a secretary of the Inverclyde Music Festival for over 20 years, was very courageous throughout her illness,

She said: "She was always very stubborn.

"She wore a cold cap throughout her treatment to stop her hair falling out.

"My mum was very caring, very fun and was funny.

"A huge number of kids came through our house for piano lessons as she used to teach at night.

"I still meet lots of people who remember her fondly from the years that they came for lessons."

Iain added: "She always had lots of time for others."

Today, Claire is urging women to visit their GP if they experience any of the main symptoms which include persistent bloating, feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal pain and urinary problems.

She added: "Take the time to visit your GP if anything doesn't feel normal, rather than just march on.

"The charity has a website with lots of information and advice.

"They are also campaigning to the government to try to increase the funding that there is for ovarian cancer as it's so much less than many of the other charities and other cancers - that's not to say that one or any other is more or less important."

Over the years, Claire has taken on lots of challenges for the charity.

Five years ago she took part in an epic 54-mile charity run around Arran, her mum's favourite place, which raised over £16,000.

She also raised over money for the charity at her wedding to her soulmate Donald in September last year.

Claire, who now lives in Edinburgh, said: "When I got married to Donald in Arran last September we had an opportunity as a wedding gift for people to donate to the charity so we raised over £2,000.

"I suppose it says something about the support that we have had and the number of people who cared about mum.

"You never think you would get married without your mum, so it was a nice way to bring her into a different part of it."

Claire is keen for people to support Target Ovarian Cancer with details available online at www.targetovariancancer.org.uk