A DEVOTED mum-of-two who has lost her life to cancer stayed strong and positive to the end.

For five long years, popular Brampton hairdresser Sara Goodchild, 45, lived with the disease - but she refused to let it dominate her life, her sister Cathy Winterton told The Cumberland News.

"She absolutely loved life - and family and friends were the most important thing for her," said Cathy. "She always said: 'You get one life - live it!'"

That positive outlook was typical of Sara.

Courageous, caring, and bubbly, she had a huge circle of friends.

As news of her death spread, hundreds of tributes poured in via social media, tempering the sadness felt by her family with pride that she positively touched so many lives.

She began her career as a hairdresser at the Hair Workshop in Brampton after leaving William Howard School.

For such a sociable, considerate, and cheerful person, it was the perfect job.

Sara later married the love of her life, Dave and the couple went on to have two children, Erin, now 15, and 10-year-old Ethan.

She adored her family, said Cathy. Her sister's battle with cancer began five years ago when Sara found a lump in her breast, a few months after her 40th birthday.

The treatment that followed included a mastectomy, as well as radiotherapy, and rounds of chemotherapy. "She had such a positive outlook," said Cathy, 43.

"Sara was a real home bird. She loved her life and would do absolutely anything for you. There was never any negativity from her; she was amazing and dealt with it in a very relaxed way.

“She said she was a cancer-fighting warrior: she took part in the Gelt Gladiator event and the Race for life."

Cathy recalled two occasions when Sara's positive spirit shone brightly - both involving trips to Talkin Tarn. The first involved a 1am “road trip” to the beauty spot, and an impromptu paddle.

Her last trip was with family and friends four days before she died.

Though very ill, Sara was determined to see a sunset at Talkin Tarn.

"It was just lovely," said another of Sara's siblings Annabel Anderson.

" She stretched herself to get to Talkin Tarn. You could see she was exhausted, but she enjoyed herself, sitting there with a glass of red in her hand.

“She went to bed after that and had her birthday on Monday, August 5, and passed away on August 7th. She got her wish to be at home when she passed way."

Annabel was full of praise for Sara's devoted husband and their children.

The family, from Croft Road, Brampton, hoped for a miracle, but despite what Sara felt was first-class treatment at The Cumberland Infirmary her cancer spread. Among the many Facebook tributes were these:

• "Sara was a fantastic friend and ambassador for life - the heart and soul of everywhere and the brightest light in any room."

• "She was the most amazing, caring, thoughtful, loving, mischievous and gorgeous lady I have had the pleasure of having in my life."

• "Sara has left an amazing example behind of how to fight something with so much courage and strength. She will always be in all of our hearts."

One of Sara's many friends in Brampton was hairdresser Janice Grieves who organised a fundraising event, the Big Wig Ball, which raised funds for the Jigsaw Children’s Hospice.

Sara was awarded a "Wig Warrior" award – recognition for people who have battled the illness and been an inspiration to others.

"She always turned up looking amazing," said Janice. "She was such a bubbly, vibrant, absolutely lovely person."

Sara was also a much-loved daughter to mum Mary Watson and father Peter, both 73; and she also leaves step-mum Lyndsey, her mother-in-law Winnie Goodchild; and brothers Jim, 46, and John, 37, and sister Holly, 34.

The funeral service will be at Carlisle Crematorium on Wednesday, August 21, at 3pm.

People are being urged to wear colourful clothing to celebrate her life. There will also be a collection for Eden Valley Hospice and the Breast Cancer UK charity.