BONDS between neighbours are often stronger than those between relatives.
For Michelle Briant, the lovely lady over the fence might as well be family.
And so with each piece of soul-destroying news Sue Scott receives about the stages of her cancer, it's a kick in the stomach for Mrs Briant too.
That's why she has decided to take matters into her own hands.
Mrs Briant, of Horsley, has committed herself to a 10-kilometre run tomorrow to raise funds to ease her special friend's financial burden during this tough time.
"I'm doing this run in honour of my next door neighbour of 11 years," Mrs Briant said yesterday.
"She has been fighting a rare type of secondary cancer for the past couple of years. The type of cancer Sue has starts in the lining of the uterus and if not caught early it can travel within the blood to other parts of the body which it has done in Sue's case," she added.
Sue's cancer started in her uterus which demanded a hysterectomy and the removal of her left ovary.
"Shortly after that it was found that blood clots were present on Sue's lungs. At that same time she found out the cancer had returned in the right ovary which had to be removed.
"A few months after that, late last year, Sue suddenly lost her ability to speak. She was rushed to hospital and yet again found the cancer had returned as a tumour on her brain.
"She had a major operation to remove it, and radiation therapy . . . and all was hopeful it had all been dealt with and she was in the clear once again."
But earlier this year Sue was hit with another bombshell - a scan revealing the cancer had returned. This time in her lungs and more blood clots and a tumour in her abdomen.
She is undergoing chemotherapy and injects herself twice a day to keep the blood clots at bay.
Mrs Briant said her neighbour's rough patch had lasted years.
"She also has to provide long-term support for one of her three children, in her early 20s, who has had a rare medical condition since birth."
Mrs Briant said the fun run - at White Sands Park in Huskisson at 3.30pm - was her own way of making a difference for the "quiet family that is not the type to ask for help or support".
"Sue is too unwell to continue with her home-based business and her husband, being a contractor, doesn't get paid for any time he takes off work to care for his wife.
"They struggle to accept help from others, but if anyone else was to be in the same situation I know they would do whatever they could to help and expect nothing in return.
"Sue has been there for myself and my family when we've been in need, she is a soft, sweet and generous human being who I'm grateful to have as our neighbour."
HOW TO HELP
Donate to the Sue Scott Fund at CBA. BSB: 062 531 A/C: 10338892 or by post to PO Box 109, Dapto, 2530.