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Christchurch leukaemia survivor Georgia Phillpot becomes 'poster girl' for cancer charity

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GASPING in glee, Georgia Phillpot blows kisses at a poster with her photo on it, announcing her as the face of a nationwide cancer charity campaign.

The 13-year-old Christchurch schoolgirl, who beat leukaemia as a toddler, is now doing her bit to help other young people who are diagnosed with the disease.

Her star role in a poster appeal for Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People is something that has thrilled her parents who feared she might never reach her teenage years.

Georgia with her mum and dad and the charity poster
Georgia with her mum and dad and the charity poster

Mum Jo said: “She is now a typical teenager but when she was younger we worried she might not get through this to become one.”

Georgia had been unwell for a while before her diagnosis, as her mother revealed: “She was struggling to recover from constant colds and breathing issues.

“Georgia was so unwell, I booked to see the GP and during the appointment she stopped breathing.”

It was at Southampton General Hospital’s paediatric department that Georgia was diagnosed as having acute myeloid leukaemia.

Jo said: “The news absolutely floored me and the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘She’s not going to get through this’.

“Georgia was diagnosed at birth with Down’s syndrome and I always thought that would be my biggest challenge.

“But this was a real shock, especially where her condition made her more vulnerable.”

Georgia’s dad, Craig, said: “Signing the form to consent to chemotherapy treatment was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I had to remind myself that with treatment, Georgia stood a good chance. I did what I had to do.”

At one stage, Georgia had a bad reaction to a drug and had to be admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit.

Jo said: “They said she would either turn a corner in the next 24 hours or not – and thankfully she did.”

She added: “Forty years ago she might not have beaten this, and the fact she did is down to research and that’s why raising money for Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People is so vital.

“When your child is admitted on to a cancer ward and they are potentially about to face the toughest fight of their life, it leaves you feeling helpless.”

Georgia’s poster will be on display at the charity’s 600 stores.

To donate visit cruk.org/childrenandyoungpeople

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