May 19, 2022 9.51 am

Brave Lincolnshire schoolgirl becomes first in UK to beat rare form of cancer

Jeanie-May is now cancer-free

An 11-year-old schoolgirl who ‘smiled all the way through’ her brave battle with cancer has become the first in the UK to beat a rare form of the illness.

Jeanie-May Cooke from Cleethorpes was just seven years old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. In April 2018 she went into remission for the leukaemia but around a week later her mother Katie Hannaford got a phone call to say her daughter had an extremely rare form of cancer called Histiocytic Sarcoma.

Katie was told the best option was to amputate through the knee when later that year the cancer had spread. At the time the doctor said there was nothing else they could do for Jeanie and the best option was for her to go into a hospice.

Katie told BBC Look North: “I came out of that room and I thought she’s fought through all of this, we are not giving up on her, we can’t give up on her.”

A friend of Jeanie’s step dad lives in America and knew someone at a children’s oncology hospital, who asked for the consultant’s name in Sheffield. They came up with a plan to start Jeanie on a drug called Trametinib and she is now cancer free.

Jeanie in hospital during her battle with cancer (left) before being cancer free and playing basketball with her mum Katie. | Screenshot: BBC Look North/BBC News Hub

Katie added: “Things started to slowly improved. She had a bone marrow transplant and here we are now, she is now cancer free, she’s the first to ever overcome that cancer.”

Jeanie, who is a pupil at Havelock Academy, said: “I just feel relieved and proud of myself that I did it. I smiled all the way through it.”