Cancer diagnosis won't stop brave teen, Joanna Lamb, from doing the Kiltwalk

Seven months ago when she had her leg amputated she hoped it would be an end to her battle with bone cancer.

Saturday, 15th September 2018, 8:12 am
Updated Saturday, 15th September 2018, 8:26 am
Joanna Lamb has signed up to do the Kiltwalk
Joanna Lamb has signed up to do the Kiltwalk

But just months later 17-year-old Joanna Lamb was dealt a shattering blow.

Doctors told her in June that the cancer had travelled to her upper and lower back as well as her lungs.

The Craigmount High pupil was devastated.

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“I was told I was in remission in March,” she explained. “But relapsed in June this year.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking, just devastating. We weren’t expecting it.

“The last time I had been tired, fatigued, and in pain but this time I felt none of those symptoms.”

The teenager was told she had a rare form of bone cancer Osteosarcoma, that only affects around 20 people each year in Scotland, during her sixth year.

Surgeons amputated her leg in February and she bravely signed up to lead this year’s 24 mile Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk where thousands take to the streets of Edinburgh to raise funds for walkers’ chosen charities.

But despite the shocking recent diagnosis, she is determined to enjoy Sunday, and make as much money as possible to support charity It’s Good 2 Give, of which she is the youngest trustee. “I have cancer in my lungs, lower back and upper back,” Joanna said. “I haven’t been in any pain, in fact I was feeling good.

“I was doing everything and being normal. It was a mixture of surprise, heartbreak and devastation.

“But I am excited about Sunday. We’ve got a diverse team of 200 people ranging from an eight-month-old baby up to my nana, Christine Shuttleworth who is 75.

“I am a trustee for It’s Good 2 Give and I really enjoy working with the charity so I just want to do such good work to help them support other children and young people who are going through similar things to me.”

Amputees expend 70 percent more energy, Joanna explained so she is expecting the challenge to be very physical. “I’ll probably just hop,” she joked. “I’ve still got cancer and I get quite fatigued as well but I am really excited and I have a great support network in Team Joanna.”

As well as winning fundraiser of the year at the Edinburgh Evening News Local Hero Awards in June, Joanna had the daunting task of speaking at Michelle Obama’s fundraising dinner at the EICC. She said: “It was an amazing experience and I was really nervous, but everyone said I didn’t come across that way so I was really happy.”

Walking with Joanna is her for former East Craigs primary school teacher Liz Cann. She said: “She’s a total and utter inspiration, She’s my wee hero.

“She is just so positive and so strong and so brave and is a lovely, lovely girl with a lovely family. It is just heartbreaking.”

And gutsy Joanna insisted, rightly so, we to right a wrong before going to print. “Last time my fundraising was featured it said I only had four out of five Highers – I got five!”

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