IN just two days Rachel Hirst went from being a normal, active 12-year-old to having an incredibly rare brain tumour.
The schoolgirl has gone through eight neurosurgeries - and gruelling radiotherapy - since her shock diagnosis last September but has battled through with a smile.
And her incredible bravery has seen Rachel be the first youngster nominated for The Star Superkids award 2012.
Mum Bev, of Bramley, Rotherham, said: “Last September Rachel started to complain of severe headaches and our lives turned upside down.
“She went from having a headache to being diagnosed with a serious brain tumour and we weren’t sure what they were going to do about it, and she might die.
“It has had a massive impact on her and us as a family.
“She has never complained once all the way through her illness. She’s never whinged about it or said she doesn’t want to do something, she’s just got on with it.
“All she wants to do is go back to school to try and regain her life.”
Wickersley School student Rachel has a pineal papillary tumour so rare it is thought she is only the 42nd person in the world to suffer from it.
Six weeks of radiotherapy and surgeries have caused the courageous girl to lose her hair and become weaker.
But a recent scan came back with good news – the tumour has shrunk from being the size of a plum to that of a tadpole.
Bev added: “I can’t explain how proud of her I am.”
Ruth Wallbank - Rachel’s second cousin - put her forward for the award because she has ‘never complained or stopped smiling’.
n ENTRIES are flooding in for Superkids but we want even more to make this year’s awards the best ever.
Children who have overcome adversity, shone in a sporting field or supported their family can be recognised in the May ceremony, sponsored by Frankie & Benny’s.
To enter nominations should be posted to Superkids, Promotions department,York Street, Shefﬁeld, S1 1PU or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They must include the name of nominee, nominator and contact details with a brief description, under 100 words, of why they should be a Superkid.