HUNTER HERO: Elle Gallagher, charity fund-raiser 

HARD WORK: Elle Gallagher is running a charity ball at Noah’s on the Beach to raise money for breast and gynaecological cancer, and is about $3000 away from her $10,000 target.  Picture: Peter Stoop
HARD WORK: Elle Gallagher is running a charity ball at Noah’s on the Beach to raise money for breast and gynaecological cancer, and is about $3000 away from her $10,000 target. Picture: Peter Stoop

ELLE Gallagher is a 23-year-old determined to make a difference.

Losing her best friend's mum, Sue Niddrie, to ovarian cancer four months ago was devastating.

Soon afterwards her four-year-old son's grandma, Susan Miller, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the face of so much heartbreak, Ms Gallagher wanted to do something to help others who will go through the same thing down the track.

She has been working around the clock to hold a charity ball to raise funds for the Cancer Council.

It's a feat she is attempting largely on her own, so she is extremely grateful to her friends and family for chipping in.

The money will go towards helping those with breast and gynaecological cancers.

The single mum admits such an ambitious project hasn't been easy, considering she's had to fit it in around full-time work.

"I've had the goal of raising $10,000 but at the moment I'm only at $7000," she said.

"I have never attempted something like this before. It's actually been a lot harder than I thought.

"It's worth it though - each time more money goes into the account you feel good about doing it.

"The cause is important because most people have had someone they know affected by cancer."

Since deciding on her goal, Ms Gallagher has been busy calling around to find a venue which would host the event for free.

She's extremely grateful to Noah's on the Beach for being so generous and agreeing - many places didn't.

She has also been calling around Newcastle businesses to see if they will donate items for a raffle.

So far Ms Gallagher has sold 120 tickets, but she is hoping to get around the 200-mark.

"It will be a fun night and it's for a good cause," she said.

"It's mainly just friends and family that are going at the moment, I need to get more people there and I wish it would spread further."

Ms Gallagher said she found it "really difficult" watching the suffering experienced by Ms Niddrie while she battled ovarian cancer.

"About five years ago one of my closest friend's mum got ovarian cancer. She died four months ago - she was only in her 50s," she said.

"It really affected me."

Ms Gallagher said it was a shock to then find out that Ms Miller had breast cancer. They're grateful it was detected early.

"She has had the surgery to remove the lumps and she's going through radiation now."

Ms Gallagher has experienced more than most women her age. Rather than going out and partying, she had to grow up fast after falling pregnant at 19. Her son Jack is her pride and joy.

Despite many sleepless nights, Ms Gallagher plans to continue holding events in the future. Next time she might try to recruit more people to help her out, though.

"Just go for it, there are so many options for things you can do out there. Even something small will make a difference," she said.