Tributes to teenager after cancer fight

A GRIEVING mother has paid tribute to her 18-year-old daughter who bravely fought to achieve her dreams in the face of a rare and aggressive cancer.

Will Clarke

A GRIEVING mother has paid tribute to her 18-year-old daughter who bravely fought to achieve her dreams in the face of a rare and aggressive cancer.

Alice Bullock, 18, of Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds, died after a two-and-half year battle against the disease which left her body riddled with tumours.

But mother, Sonia Mann, said her daughter, who was predicted to gain three As at A-level next summer, had achieved everything she wanted to in life and never let the disease stop her living the life she wanted.

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“It was a very, very aggressive cancer and the prognosis was never very good,” she said. “But she wanted to fight it and she did so with such style.

“You never think your child is going to receive a cancer diagnosis but you have to stay positive.

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“She had plans and dreams and she was never going to let the disease get in the way of her life. She was going to school and she had achieved eight A grades for GCSE and I was told she was predicted three As in English literature, history and philosophy with ethics. She loved school - she was a top student.”

Miss Mann said she would treasure her relationship with her daughter: “We had a unique relationship - we were more friends than mother and daughter, we were very close. The nurses used to say we would finish our sentences for each other.

“She taught me never to give in, to always follow your dreams and to stay true to yourself. She defied doctors' predictions time after time, she had a love of living and she taught me to make the most of everything because you never know when it is going to go.”

Alice worked closely with the Teenage Cancer Trust on its TV service by making films for Jimmy Teens TV and advised the charity on its work in bringing teenage only cancer wards to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

She also found the time to meet her music heroes The Lost Prophets as well as My Chemical Romance backstage at two of the many rock concerts she attended.

The 44-year-old mother, who praised all the doctors and nurses involved in her daughter's care, said that throughout the illness Alice hid the pain she was in despite the tumours pressing on nerves in her back and the exhausting, aggressive treatments she underwent.

The cancer - rhabdomyosarcoma , which is only contracted by 50 children in the UK each year - quickly spread from her foot into her bone marrow, eventually reaching her head and neck.

The Thurston College student, who attended Beyton Middle School, died at home on November 27. Her funeral will be held at Risby crematorium near Bury on December 9 with a collection to be shared between the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Chris Lucas Trust, which carries out research into rhabdomyosarcoma.

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