Brave Courtney smiles through cancer battle

Courtney Turner, 11,  with her parents, Janetta Weightman, and Derek Turner in the LGI.  Picture by Tony Johnson
Courtney Turner, 11, with her parents, Janetta Weightman, and Derek Turner in the LGI. Picture by Tony Johnson
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Doctors have credited a little girl’s love of life with helping in her brave fight against leukaemia.

The family of Courtney Turner, 11, say she has impressed medics at Leeds General Infirmary with her positive attitude as she battles the life-threatening condition. Her cancer was found to have gone into remission after one course of chemotherapy, but the youngster faces a total of four rounds to keep it at bay.

Courtney is not due to finish her treatment until January but her family said her progress so far has amazed doctors.

Mum Janetta Weightman, 37, said: “The doctor says it’s her attitude that gets her through it. She’s got a good attitude for it.

“She’s quite active - dancing, singing and doing cartwheels. She’s very bubbly, friendly and very chatty. She’s really brave.”

While her mum and dad, Derek Turner, 42, stay by her side in hospital as she undergoes the chemotherapy, their home village of Micklefield has sprung into action. Hundreds of pounds have already been raised through events including a car wash, village raffle, and a fun day at The Blands Arms.

Courtney’s classmates at Micklefield Primary School also raised hundreds of pounds through a 5k ‘penguin dance’ on Thursday (pictured).

Janetta said: “It’s amazing how the whole community has got together - everyone in Micklefield.

“All the fundraising has been brilliant. We’re so touched. We want to take her to Disneyland Florida when she’s through it all.”

Courtney was diagnosed at the end of the summer holidays after she fell asleep while playing outside. Her worried mum had already taken her to doctors over the appearance of red spots and bruising but her concerns were repeatedly dismissed.

However blood tests at LGI this time discovered Courtney had acute myeloid leukaemia.

Janetta said: “We were just shocked. Devastated really. It’s been hard watching her go through it.”

But even when Courtney finishes her treatment, her battle for health will continue. The youngster suffers from a series of problems including scoliosis and a heart condition which will require major surgery in her teens.

She had been referred to the hospital’s genetics team for tests to see if she had a syndrome - but all that was halted by the cancer diagnosis.

Janetta said: “They think the leukaemia was just unlucky - not linked with any syndrome. It’s been devastating, worrying about her.

“But you wouldn’t think anything was wrong with her, she does so well. She’s an inspiration to us. We’re very proud.”

For more information, visit the family’s Facebook page: ‘Courtney’s fight against cancer’.

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