A HAIRDRESSER turned florist is sharing her creative skills and raising cash for charity at the same time.
Mother-of-three Denise Stazaker has recently handed over £1,000 to the Cure Leukaemia Charity using proceeds she has made hosting floral arts classes at her local church.
Denise, who lives in Wetley Rocks, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2001 after a number of symptoms formed including a sore throat, tiredness and a lump under her chin. She later also had two lumps form under her arms.
She has since had two bone marrow transplants as well as chemotherapy treatment.
Denise, aged 55, said of the gruelling treatment: "You just have to keep on going and take what is thrown at you.
"You just have to be positive. I just told myself that with everyday I was getting better. That's what I had to say to myself over and over again."
One of Denise's bone marrow transplants came from her own brother, Robert.
She said: "It is good that he could help me in that way. However, I did feel guilty about him going through the process of donating bone marrow, and still do.
"I am always trying to think of a way to repay him."
After moving to the Staffordshire Moorlands six years ago, mother-of-three Denise began attending Wetley Rocks Methodist Church.
She recalled: "The display of flowers on the alter used to really inspire me and so I signed up for a leisure class in flower arranging.
"After that I went to college to complete a Level Four City & Guilds in Floral Art."
Denise then explained that she initially got a few friends together to start passing on her new-found flower arranging skills, but this soon blossomed into two weekly classes at her church.
She has been saving all the monies she makes from the classes to donate to charity as her way of giving something back.
Over the past two years, that has equated to £1,000, which Denise has recently paid over to the Cure Leukaemia Charity.
Former hairdresser Denise, now works part-time in a florist, and runs her floral art classes at Wetley Rocks Methodist Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7pm until 9pm. Each class costs £4.
With around 10 participants over the classes, Denise is always on the look out for new recruits.
As for the leukaemia, Denise said: "They never say if you are clear of Leukaemia.
"I am still going down to Birmingham Hospital once a year for check ups.
"However, the last treatment I had was seven years ago.
"Experiencing all that just made me want to give something back."
One of Denise's floral art students, Clare Johnson, who lives in Kingsley Holt, said: "I like coming to these classes. It's my relaxation for two hours a week.
"Denise is an amazing person. She has the patience of a saint and is an inspirational teacher.
"I think it's amazing that she gives the money from the classes to charity."