A BREAST cancer survivor turned her passion into a business during her recovery.
Donna Smith has always been a fan of baking, as she regularly baked cakes for her family.
Following her cancer journey, she created Cake Break at home.
She said: “I have always baked cakes for my children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays.
“While my boys were growing up, it was quite difficult financially, so I always tried to make things myself and made sure they had desserts.”
Donna was previously an elementary school teaching assistant, however, due to her condition, she stepped away from this role.
She was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2020, following a series of routine mammograms which left her frustrated as she was told nothing had been found.
She then received an ultrasound which showed what she had suspected.
Donna said losing her hair had a deeper impact on her.
She explained how her late mother, who died when she was two, asked Donna’s father to promise to keep their daughters’ hair long.
The 55-year-old said: “I had always had long hair so I felt like I was letting my mum down. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
“I was supposed to get my hair cut at Paul Smith in Earlestown, and Paul messaged me on Sunday night saying we were in lockdown and all hairdressers had to close again.
“He said if I came to his salon tonight he could do it for me. So he opened his salon on Sunday night and cut my hair.
“He was absolutely amazing. I came home and he texted me and said, ‘I’m so sorry I had to do this, I know you’re not happy with what I did; it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I had to keep calm and do it.'”
The mum-of-four celebrated the first anniversary of her last chemotherapy session earlier this month.
Having had to stay home for months, Donna started pursuing her hobby of baking again.
She said: “I made scones and stuff for my son and his partner, and my son told me I should start a Facebook page.
“Her partner put things on her Facebook page, and I got so many orders. People would message her and she would pick them up and deliver them to me because I couldn’t.
“I did it out of boredom because I had been here six months, and I thought I had always wanted to do it but never had the courage.”
Amanda Jackson, owner of Newton High Street Mamma J’s cafe, also contacted Donna to ask if she would be interested in bringing orders to the store.
Cake Break is currently supplying the cakes for Mamma J’s, with Donna complimenting Amanda and her staff on their beauty.
Donna also hopes to open her own bakery in the future.