BRAVE teenager Amy Carter overcame a fear of doctors when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Amy, 14, of Freshbrook, was found to be suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a cancer which affects the lymph nodes and lymphatic system, in September.

But she bravely faced her fear and is currently responding well to treatment. The courage she has shown has now been recognised by Cancer Research UK, after they made Amy the recipient of a Little Star Award.

The Lydiard Park Academy pupil starting feeling unwell at the beginning of the year and at first doctors thought she was had a virus. Her ill health continued and she spent much of the summer at doctor and hospital appointments.

Her mum, Jayne Beach, said: “She was so tired, she was sleeping so much we couldn’t do family days out and she kept being sent home from school.”

As well as suffering tiredness and aching muscles, Amy had also developed itching and a rash all over her body.

She was finally admitted to hospital in Swindon in the August for tests. Doctors thought lumps on her body were due to an infection but they referred her to a specialist in Oxford to be sure.

Jayne said she first learned what was wrong with Amy when she was admitted to a cancer ward.

“Doctors at Swindon said there was a slight chance it was cancer but it came as a big shock when they told me it was. You don’t expect that to happen to your family.”

Jayne, a mother-of-six, added: “At first, it took a lot to get Amy into hospital. She has never liked any type of doctor since having a bad experience as a toddler. She was taken to a busy emergency centre for a tummy ache and the doctor prodded exactly where she was in pain. She never forgot that but Amy realised herself she was ill and had to go. It has been a tough few months to get where we are.”

Amy has been having chemotherapy treatment for the past two months. The results of a scan will determine if she needs radiotherapy.

The youngster has been supported through a difficult time by her large family, including brothers Alex, 19, Ross, 17, and Jade, 13, and sister, Sarah, 11. A close circle of friends at her school have also been supportive, looking after her on the occasional days she can attend and visiting her at home when she can’t.

Jayne, who lost another son, Paul, at birth, said: “Telling Amy and the other children she had cancer was hard, although Amy had guessed before I told her. She was upset and also very concerned about losing her lovely long hair.

“Her hair started to fall out two or three weeks after she started treatment and she was left with wispy bits, which she had since dyed pink! Amy is doing amazingly well. I am very proud of my brave, fantastic girl.”

Cancer Research UK is again launching its annual Little Star Awards, in partnership with fashion retailer TK Maxx. The Little Star Awards are open to all under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years. To nominate a Little Star, or donate, visit