Sunderland cancer battler Josie King set for major op

Cancer sufferer Josie King with her sister Jessica King and mother Donna Doneathy.

Cancer sufferer Josie King with her sister Jessica King and mother Donna Doneathy.

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A teenager fighting cancer has been recruited by her doctor to help other children as they battle the disease.

Josie King, from Thorney Close, is being treated for a form of bone cancer which was found in her thigh when a lump developed last summer.

Josie King's cancer treatment has been going well, but she still has surgery and further chemo to overcome.

Josie King's cancer treatment has been going well, but she still has surgery and further chemo to overcome.

A date has been scheduled for next month, when she will undergo surgery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, with her femur to be removed and replaced with a metal rod.

Yesterday, she had her 10th and last chemotherapy session before the operation, with a further four planned after she has had the surgery.

It follows on from five weeks of radiotherapy - with the end of that treatment signalled on the ward when the 14-year-old was invited to ring a bell.

The combination of treatments has successfully shrunk the tumour.

We’re all over the moon with how well she’s doing.

Donna Doneathy

Her family have compared the result as it going “from the size of a small bottle of coke to the size of a pop bottle lid” with doctors saying she has been fortunate, as the Ewing sarcoma cancer has not wrapped itself around a main artery.

While the Sandhill View School student has been in hospital going through treatment, her oncologist has asked her to speak to other children also diagnosed with cancer to help them through tough times, with a blog set up for her to write about her experiences.

Her caring nature has led to her being nominated for a Bravehearts of the North East award, while her sights are firmly set on returning to her big love, boxing.

She has also been delighted by the return of her hair now she has been on milder chemo.

Ryan and Louis Doneathy with their cousin Josie King pictured  at their charity football match at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Ryan and Louis Doneathy with their cousin Josie King pictured at their charity football match at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Her mum Donna Doneathy, 40, who is also mum to Jessica, 20, and fellow boxer Jack 12, said: “We had to take her into hospital a couple of weeks ago because she had a high temperature and as soon as we got there, all she wanted to do was make sure everyone else was all right.

“We’re all over the moon with how well she’s doing.

“There’s a boy who’s 13 who she’s made friends with and I think talking to others helps her and she’s written the blog so other children can read about what she’s been through.

“After the surgery, she’s going to have to learn to walk again and it’ll take her a few months.

Josie King pictured in hospital last last year during cancer treatment.

Josie King pictured in hospital last last year during cancer treatment.

“It’s not stopped her wanting to go to the boxing gym and going back is all she wants to do.”

Josie’s uncle Shaun and her cousin Louis teamed up with others to host a five-a-side football tournament at Silksworth Sports Complex and Ski Slope, while charity nights have been organised by family friend Nicola Haliman and cancer survivor Michelle Smiley.

They have raised £2,500 which will be used to cover the cost of a holiday once Josie’s treatment is complete or support her in other ways.

Josie’s blog can be read via http://josiesfightagainstcancer.simplesite.com/ and a Facebook page which is updating followers on her progress can be found through the Boxer Josie King’s fight against cancer page on Facebook.

Josie King in her boxing kit, pictured before she became ill.

Josie King in her boxing kit, pictured before she became ill.