An inspirational teenager is putting others first despite battling a potentially cancerous tumour.
Teenager Phoebe Hedley, who is enduring eight months of gruelling chemotheraphy, has put her own problems aside to raise cash for Newcastle RVI’s teenage cancer ward.
In 2012, the 16-year-old from Cleadon, was diagnosed with FAP, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, which is a rare condition causing hundreds of small polyps, which are small growths, to form in the large bowel and if left untreated will become cancerous.
At the age of just 13, Phoebe had to undergo a massive operation to have her full colon removed and a reconstruction.
Thinking the worst was over, the Whitburn CE Academy pupil, was left devastated when doctors discovered a tumour had formed on scar tissue in the teen’s abdomen.
Although not yet cancerous, specialists at the RVI had to act fast to try to shrink the tumour, before it became malignant.
Phoebe, who has three sisters, Annie, 14, Yvie, five, and two-year-old Olivia, said: “They couldn’t operate to remove it because it would just grow back.”
Instead, the teenager had to have weekly sessions of chemotherapy for six months and is now having them once a fortnight for two months, and thankfully the treatment appears to be working.
She said: “I set up the fundraising page to give something back to every nurse, doctor and charity that has helped me through such difficult times.
“There are times when you feel so ill you just want to crawl into a cold, dark room, but everyone has been so supportive.”
Phoebe, who is currently sitting her GCSEs, said: “I keep going because I want to set an example that you can still be a normal teenager despite being ill.”
The teenager’s mum, Rachel Savin, 43, said both she and Phoebe’s dad, Edward Hedley, 45, who lives in Sunderland, are incredibly proud of her. She said: “She is just amazing, such a massive inspiration. She even goes straight back to school after her chemotherapy sessions, which she is fitting in around her exams.”
Rachel said everyone, especially Annie and Phoebe’s boyfriend, Jack Graham, 15, has been a huge emotional support to the teenager.
To date, Phoebe has raised almost £2,500 for the unit and is hoping to reach her target of £3,000. Anyone who would like to make a donation should visit www.justgiving.com/Phoebe-HedleyNJS/