Brave Melton schoolgirl, 13, receives national honour for courage throughout cancer battle

A Melton teenager has received a national award for her bravery in fighting cancer and enduring two tough years of treatment.

Mary Duddigan (13), who goes to John Ferneley College, has had her courage recognised with a Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Award.

Mary, who has a month left of her treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, was nominated for the award by her proud dad, Pete, who recalled the day the family received the devastating news on November 11, 2013.


He said: “I just went to pieces. I couldn’t understand how such a strong young girl could be struck down by something like that.

Mary, who moved to Melton from the Isle of Wight last year with mum Theresa, dad Pete and sister Clare (15), was diagnosed after suffering about three weeks of sickness.

She had an immediate blood transfusion followed by a long course of chemotherapy due to end on January 24.

When Mary’s long hair began to fall out about six weeks after diagnosis, she decided to get it all cut off. Her older sister, Clare, decided to have her own hair shaved off at the same time in a touching show of support for her little sister.

Dad Pete added: “It was like we’d been watching Mary fade away but as soon as treatment started it was astonishing to see how she picked up.

You can watch a video of Mary and dad Pete talking about her cancer fight and her special award by visiting

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