Janet Rygnestad is a member of both the Comox and Nanaimo ground search and rescue groups, and was recently diagnosed with cancer. (CTV News)

An online fundraiser has been launched for a member of the Vancouver Island search and rescue community who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Nanaimo Search and Rescue manager Carly Trobridge started the fundraising campaign for Janet Rygnestad during her cancer treatment.

"Janet is one of those people who has spent years of her life giving back to the community through volunteering," says Trobridge. "We decided it was now time to rally the community to support her during this difficult time in her life."

Rygnestad is a member of both the Comox and Nanaimo ground search and rescue groups.

Rygnestad is also a part-time ski patroller at Mount Washington.

Rygnestad will begin chemotherapy treatment next week and is expected to be off work for six to 12 months.

The money raised will go to covering expenses that are not covered by her employer, such as supplemental drugs and therapies, accommodations while in Victoria for treatment, and living expenses.