Nearly £4,000 has now been raised in support of a critically ill Carlisle woman, in solidarity on her birthday.

Today is Jodie Vasquez's 25th birthday, but rather than spend it at her Currock home, she is in the Critical Care Unit of Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

She suffers from EhlersDanlos syndrome, a rare condition which affects the connective tissue in her body. It manifests in different ways in every sufferer, and for Jodie it has left her with multi-organ failure.

She recently underwent further surgery, but has suffered from severe internal bleeding since then, something her surgeons admit they are struggling to get under control.

Rather than lose hope, Jodie's twin sister Emma has today launched a fundraising campaign for Eden Valley Hospice - a charity which has provided hope and respite for the family over the past few years.

Emma told the News & Star: "I want to give this back to Jodie, because she’s given so much of herself to raise money for others.

"She really needs some strength right now and this is really going to give her that."

An initial target of £1,000 was smashed within two hours of being set up online, and is rising almost by the minute. The current total raised stands at £3,902, with the new target set at £5,000.

On the fundraising page Emma has written: "Jodie has spent the last 10 years fighting multiple organ failure, enduring the most traumatic and upsetting operations and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve heard her complain in those 10 years.

"Jodie is an inspiring, strong and brave young woman who is selfless and loving and always makes sure everyone else is ok.

"Jodie has already raised more than £37K for the Sick Children’s trust and recently started fundraising for Jigsaw children’s hospice.

"Her final wishes are for her to stay in Jigsaw's rainbow room, where we can spend as much time with her as we need to when she gains her angel wings. Jigsaw will make all of this happen and have treated Jodie with so much love and compassion."

Emma added: "They’ve supported Jodie so much and continue to do so.

"Jodie has worked so hard to raise tens of thousands of pounds over the last 10 years. So let’s pitch in and do this on her behalf, so we can raise money for the amazing work Jigsaw hospice do."

Click here to donate.