DOVERCOURT mum Alison Marvan has been named Inspirational Woman of the Year.

The 48-year-old, who has three sons - one of which nominated her for the competition - was stunned to have won.

Alison’s journey began in 1999 when repeat visits to the doctors for a suspected chest infection turned out to the a tumour in her spine.

Since then Alison has endured 13 operations to remove and correct her spine, have metal vertebrae and rods inserted.

Soon after being diagnosed with Giant Cell Tumour and when she was still in hospital after her second operation, Alison’s aorta burst.

Her husband Tony and three sons all came to say their goodbyes as she lay in intensive care. She even wrote her goodbye notes to them all.

“It’s not unlike me to be gobsmacked but I am. I’m not special, I just carry on with life.”

Alison won the competition, run by the Standard’s sister paper the Gazette.

She wins a host of prizes including a hamper from Kentas of London, a weekend away and a balloon flight.