Today we reveal the name of north and west Cumbria's most inspirational and amazing lady.

In the run up to the annual Ladies Night race meeting, the News & Star teamed up with Carlisle Racecourse to find one woman or girl who stands out and inspires those around them.

The nominations we received were outstanding, ranging from community champions to those battling personal adversity.

Judges spent hours pouring over the nominations, and today - ahead of the race meeting on Monday - we can finally reveal that the winner is 45-year-old Kerryanne Wilde, from Shap.

A mum-of-two, she set up a charity to help those affected by the 2015 floods and later expanded it to help many others in hardship.

More recently, she was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer, but has not let it stop her from helping others.

One nomination praised the work she does, without personal gain. They described her as: "A diamond, a precious individual who is caring, loving and understanding of everyone's needs".

Another said: "She has worked tirelessly for 10 years in the community to help people change their lives for the better.

"She puts everyone first, no matter what. She is so inspirational to everyone that meets her."

Finally, someone described her as: "A true inspirational woman who right now has her own personal battle, but you wouldn't know because she's so busy supporting others."

Kerryanne will enjoy a VIP night at the races with three friends, as well as presenting the trophy to the winner of a race named in her honour.

Chris Story, editor of the News & Star , said: "This competition is always one of the most emotive and humbling initiatives that we run.

"Each and every woman nominated would have been worthy of taking the title - some of their achievements, both personally and on behalf of their communities, are staggering.

"We are delighted to announce Kerryanne as our winner, and hope she has a fantastic evening being spoiled."

Molly Dingwall, general manager of Carlisle Racecourse, said: “We are honoured to name a race in Kerryanne’s honour.

“She is an amazing woman who has done so much for the people of Cumbria, from the devastating floods of 2015 through to today.

“Kerryanne’s charity has helped so many people, and is a real beacon of hope for the people of Cumbria and beyond, so we cannot wait to welcome her here on the day as our very special guest.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for the judges to select just one Amazing Lady as there were so many inspirational and moving nominations. They are all heroes and we are delighted to invite them all to our Ladies Night.”

After shaving her head in October 2016, many people wrongly presumed Kerryanne Wilde was battling cancer.

When they asked, she would explain that it was a charity head shave, to support family members living with the illness.

She never imagined that just over a year later, in a cruel twist of fate, she would be facing her own cancer fight.

The mum-of-two was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in December last year - while her own mother was still undergoing treatment for a different form of the disease.

As the founder of Eden Flood Volunteers (now CERT UK), she is well known in Cumbria for her work to support others.

But Kerryanne - who also cares for her 16-year-old son Bailey, who has complex disabilities - admits she has found it difficult to go public with her illness, and to ask for help herself.

"I've kept it very personal, I think because I've been struggling to come to terms with it," she says.

"As a family we've been through so much with cancer. We just lost my Aunty Jayne to pancreatic cancer. It's touched every corner of our family. It's been very tough."

She found the lumps, including a massive lump on her left breast, in June last year. She went to the doctor and was referred for a mammogram, but said there was a long wait and her actual diagnosis didn't come until just before Christmas.

Doctors explained she had several phyllodes tumours in the fatty tissue of the breast. Although they rarely spread, treatment isn't straightforward and can require a full mastectomy.

However, after speaking to her consultant she agreed to be part of a trial for a new chemotherapy-style drug, which is injected into the tumours once a month over at Newcastle.

Initially she tried to just carry on, without admitting she was finding it tough. "I do put a brave face on for people, even when I'm really struggling. When I get that low the hardest part is to admit that I'm the one that needs help and support.

"For my first treatment I went alone. I was trying to get on with it, but it took me four hours to drive back afterwards. That's when I realised I couldn't do it all alone," she admits.

Kerryanne went back for a mammogram last week and although the tumours are shrinking, it is not at the rate they had hoped.

She will now continue the treatment for another six months, before considering other options if needed.

"I think then the mastectomy would be back on the table.

"Initially I said just get rid of them, but after looking into what's involved - in terms of surgery, recovery and reconstruction - I decided I wanted to avoid that if possible," she explains.

"I'd be looking at a couple of years before the reconstruction was complete. I just don't think I'm strong enough at the moment.

Kerryanne, who has a military background, is best known in Cumbria for her work to help flood victims after Storm Desmond.

She set up CERT in December 2015, providing donations of furniture, clothes and food to those most in need.

"I didn't know anything about running an emergency response charity, I just put my head into overdrive and thought this needs to be done so let's do it," she remembers.

Its remit has since expanded, helping everyone from victims of domestic violence to the homeless, both locally and nationally.

But she says the cancer diagnosis also came at a tough time for the charity, which had just been forced to close its Penrith warehouse because it could not secure the funds to stay open.

Kerryanne admits she did consider shutting it down completely, and was quite withdrawn for a few months after diagnosis.

But, having put about £30,000 of her own money into the charity since it started because she feels so passionately, she says she just couldn't abandon the people who need her help.

She has therefore been working from home throughout her illness, helping to coordinate projects and get people what they need.

"We've been doing a lot really, we haven't been shouting about it, just focusing on where the help and support is needed.

"I haven't attended a lot of meetings or committed to a lot because I didn't know how well I would be feeling. I didn't want to take on too much for that reason," she explains.

"But no matter what I'm going through, there are always people who are going through worse. As long as I'm fit enough, I will help people. I just can't see people in crisis and not do something."

Despite some really tough times, not least the recent loss of her aunty to cancer, Kerryanne remains largely upbeat.

"To be honest I'm just trying to keep positive. I've always been a glass is half full person. I don't see the point in being negative. Life and experience has taught me that," she says.

"I'm really trying to focus on my own health and my family. My mum is still going through treatment too. As a family we've really come together. It's brought us closer. I have good and bad days, but even when I'm low I still try to focus on the positives."

She is keeping her hair short throughout her treatment as it has left it patchy, and says it doesn't bother her.

"It's really ironic that I did Brave the Shave in October 2016 for Macmillan, in support of my mum and after losing my grandad to prostate and bone cancer. I said I'd keep my hair short for a year to continue raising funds, then this happened," she adds.

Originally from Scotland, Kerryanne lives in Shap with her husband Michael and son Bailey Wilde, who has cerebral palsy, visual impairment and learning and development delays due to being born 16 weeks premature. She also has a 22-year-old son, Daryl Hunter.

Kerryanne signed up to the Army in October 1990, aged 17, and served with the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC) and Intelligence Corps.

She moved to Cumbria from Catterick in 2005 and worked for Westmorland Family as group food safety manager, but left after three years as Bailey's health needs had increased.

She has since had several voluntary roles, including with the Cumbria Parent Carer Forum, and once organised the county's biggest ever disability information day at Rheged.

She also served with Cumbria Police for two years, stood as a candidate in the last county and Parliamentary elections, hosts life skills workshops and does some public speaking.

But she says the charity work is what really drives her. "I've achieved more in the last few years with CERT than I would ever have done in an employed role. I feel I've found my calling," she adds.

Although she has won awards for her work previously, she says being named as the area's most inspirational and amazing lady means a lot to her, especially after such a difficult period in her life.

"I do feel quite emotional. There are lots of people in this county who have done so much and have been so inspirational," she says.

Kerryanne will be attending the #AmazingMonday race meeting with her younger sister Lea Hunter and friends Carole Jeffreys and Gail Noble, who she says have all been a great support.