AN inspirational teenager has lost her battle with a rare form of cancer – after vowing every day until the day she died that she would beat the deadly disease.
Shannon Hughes underplayed the pain she was in and told her father to wipe away his tears and not to worry.
Three years ago, the 16-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma which affects around 30 youngsters in the UK every year.
Doctors at first thought discomfort in her leg was due to teenage growing pains. But six months later an X-ray showed a tumour on her right hip.
Paying tribute to the Broxburn Academy pupil, who passed away on Wednesday, her family told how she vowed to never stop fighting and inspired them to keep positive.
Shannon’s father, Paul, 43, said: “We are all absolutely heartbroken.
“She woke up every day a fighter and was always determined to beat this. Despite all the setbacks she had, she wanted to prove medical doctors wrong so fought every day, never giving up.
“She was taken into the Sick Kids and kept in to try and settle the pain.”
Paul, Shannon’s mum Audrey, brother Dylan and sister Rachel were all encouraged to keep a positive attitude by the teenager.
Paul said: “Just before Christmas last year she was quite bad lying in bed a bit sedated and noticed I was crying. She told me not to be worried about her and she would beat it. That’s how she was, she was more bothered about other people instead of herself.
“When we were at an appointment she was asked on a scale of one to ten how much pain she was in and she just said ‘around two or three’.
“We left and I said, ‘Shannon, come on you’re in more pain that that’. She said, ‘Yeah, but there’s other people that need help that they need to focus on, not me.’ That’s how she was, even though she was ill she still made sure she looked after her brother and sister. She’s an inspiration.
“So many people who have cancer and met Shannon have said they’ve been about to give up treatment but said, ‘If that wee lassie can do that and keep her attitude’ then so could they.
“She’s helped so many people, even if it means that they got an extra bit of time to spend with loved ones.”