Six-years-ago she was crowned London’s youngest gallerist, now she hosts a new exhibition to support her friend with leukaemia.

Eleni Duke, 29, from Walthamstow, opened the Curious Duke Gallery in Islington in 2011 aged just 24.

“I wanted to make a gallery space that was welcoming, friendly and accessible to different people,” she explains. “I also wanted to represent artists that are overlooked or don’t have conventional art training. An all-encompassing, accepting space.”

She met her friend Sam Gare when an artist held a pop-up display in her gallery. Sam brought her work along and unwrapped it in front of Eleni, who says she was “just blown away.”

The pair have been working together for the past three years and have grown closer.

“It’s a really close friendship, she’s a wonderful person,” Eleni adds.

Sam, 34, was diagnosed with the chronic blood cancer, myeloid leukaemia, after a routine blood test earlier this year and although it is incurable, it can be controlled by taking a daily treatment pill.

The exhibition, MIGHT, which runs until July 15, will fundraise for research charity Bloodwise.

Working towards the show has allowed Sam to look back at her work over the last few years in a new light, drawing synergies between the power of mountains, which feature in her work, and the strength of those fighting cancer.

She says: “We all have our mountains to climb, usually mine are drawings, but as I conquer my own metaphorical mountain, I’m forever thankful that I can enjoy the view on the climb, that my heart is still beating, and life is still there to be lived.”

Eleni adds: “I hope she inspires anyone else going through what she’s going through. It was a huge shock but I was so impressed with how she handled it. She’s only 34 and it’s horrible.

“It is so inspiring the way she’s dealing with it. Within months she came to me and said she wanted to do this exhibition and get the charity involved.”

The money raised from MIGHT goes directly to fund research into blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y 8JT, until Saturday, July 15. Details: 020 7251 6551