Brave Luisa celebrates cancer recovery

A TEENAGER who has fought her way back to health after suffering from a rare form of blood cancer is organising a fundraiser to thank the charities that supported her.

Annie Davidson

A TEENAGER who has fought her way back to health after suffering from a rare form of blood cancer is organising a fundraiser to thank the charities that supported her.

Luisa Docherty, 18, was first diagnosed with acute lymphobastic leukaemia in 2002 and underwent two years of intensive treatment including chemotherapy.

The Dovercourt youngster was clear of the disease for a year before she suffered a relapse in 2005 and had a life-saving bone marrow transplant in January the following year.

Now Luisa has marked two years since her transplant with no relapse which is seen as a milestone for leukaemia sufferers and came just weeks before she celebrated her 18th birthday.

Despite missing more than three years of school, Luisa gained four A*s and four As in her GCSEs at Ipswich High School and is now studying for her A-levels at the Colchester County High School for Girls.

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The plucky teenager will sit exams in biology, chemistry and English next year and then hopes to train to be a doctor - an ambition that dates back to before her illness struck.

Bur first she is looking to October when she will host a charity ball at the Cliff Hotel in Dovercourt to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Clic Sargent charities.

Luisa, of Oakley Road, Dovercourt, said: “My mum has organised two balls since I was ill and both went really well.

“Now I am recovered I decided to do one myself, I just couldn't make up my mind which one to do it for so I decided to do it for all three charities.”

The event, on October 11, will include a raffle and an auction which a diamond has already been donated for.

Luisa said she still suffered from fatigue and was prone to picking up bugs because her immune system was low but she was “really, really happy” at her new school and had made friends easily.

She has hospital check-ups every three months but has been given a clean bill of health ever since her transplant two years and three months ago.

“I don't really worry about it (her health) anymore - it sometimes gets me down that a bit that I get tired all the time but I have reached that two-year milestone,” said Luisa.

“When I did pass the two year mark I was really so excited and we went out to celebrate.”

Luisa's proud mum, Toni Docherty, said: “She is really determined and has worked very hard. It is a gradual thing but she will get better.”

Anyone who wants to donate raffle prizes or items for auction can contact Luisa on charityball@live.co.uk

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