X Factor star Joe McElderry gives pal Megan a boost

Joe McElderry performing to children at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Newcastle's RVI hospital.''Megan Thompson 20 chats with Joe, Megan had a brain tumor when she was 18.

Joe McElderry performing to children at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Newcastle's RVI hospital.''Megan Thompson 20 chats with Joe, Megan had a brain tumor when she was 18.

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X FACTOR star Joe McElderry has performed an intimate gig for teenage cancer patients including a special Sunderland patient recovering from a brain tumour.

Joe, who is originally from South Shields, returned to the North East just days after winning ITV’s Popstar to Operastar contest.

From ITV Studios For ITV1''POPSTAR TO OPERASTAR - THE FINAL on Sunday 10th July 2011.''Joe McElderry sung Nessun Dorma from Turandot by Puccini''Photographer: Kieron McCarron''This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com''For further information please

From ITV Studios For ITV1''POPSTAR TO OPERASTAR - THE FINAL on Sunday 10th July 2011.''Joe McElderry sung Nessun Dorma from Turandot by Puccini''Photographer: Kieron McCarron''This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com''For further information please

The 20-year-old met brave young people who have been fighting cancer at Newcastle’s Teenage Cancer Trust and belted out some of his hit tunes.

Among the crowd was Megan Thompson, 20, of Fulwell.

Megan was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour which lay undiscovered until she was 18.

She underwent six weeks of radiotherapy and 24 weeks of intensive chemotherapy to wipe out the cancerous cells before being told they had disappeared.

Over the period of her treatment Megan and Joe met several times and became firm friends.

Megan said: “The tumour was the size of a golf ball at the back of my head.

“It was a hard couple of years but Newcastle unit has just been fantastic.

“It’s a place to escape and to talk to somebody who is also going through the exact same thing that you are – they feel your pain.”

Joe, who is a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “It’s very rare that I get to come home.

“I wanted to do something special and bring my music here so I thought I would do a live lounge.

“It’s amazing to see the support when I’m home.

“It’s great around the country but it’s never better than in the North East.

“I’ve come to the unit a few times and it’s great to see them progress and see their development.

“They are a great bunch of people – inspirational. They’re the heroes of our country.”

Megan added: “It’s fantastic Joe has taken the time to do something like this.

“He’s lovely and he makes you feel like a normal teenager.

“He’s a good friend and he’s just dead down-to-earth and understanding.

“I was rooting for him on the television.”

@davidallison88