Ipswich/ Woodbridge: Teenager who fought back from a life-threatening brain tumour is now preparing to take part in a charity abseil at Ipswich Hospital in aid of her younger brother
WOODBRIDGE: Brave Alice Lincoln is an inspiration to us all.
The teenager has today spoken of her battle against a life-threatening brain tumour and her determination to use the ordeal to benefit others.
Kindhearted Alice, 19, a sixth form student at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, is now revising hard for her A-Level exams.
But in less than two months she will take the plunge in Ipswich Hospital’s charity abseil – raising money for self-help group More Fun, which provides vital support for her beloved 11-year-old brother, Sam, who has Down’s syndrome.
Alice, of Mill Close View, Wooodbridge, was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare brain tumour, which affects only three people in the UK a year, on the second day of the school summer holidays.
A gruelling course of treatment at Addenbrooke’s and Ipswich hospitals left her weak and unable to eat – at one stage food had to be pumped into her stomach.
She was in bed for so long that her muscles wasted away, which meant she has had to learn to walk all over again.
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But despite missing a whole year of school, she returned to successfully sit her GCSEs.
This was on top of intensive physiotherapy, which started with her learning to hold her head up off the pillow.
Last year, she achieved an A at A-level in English literature and will soon sit other exams in psychology, sociology, critical thinking and general studies.
The teenager, who hopes to study English literature and creative writing at the University of Surrey, is full of praise for the support received from her parents, Julia and Robert, and also her teachers.
“At times, everyone wants to quit,” she said. “Wants to throw in the towel and say ‘right, I’ve had enough’. It is so easy to think that it’s all targeted at you personally.
“But whenever I went down that track, I remembered the billions across the world who are starving and dying of easily curable diseases.
“What would have happened if I had been born there? All those others on the paediatric oncology ward who didn’t make it through, and what they and their families went through.
“This persuaded me that when the choice came, no matter how much easier it seemed, no matter how much I wanted to, I had to choose life over death.”
Alice has been in remission for four years and has to go for check-ups every 18 months.
She still has to work hard at the gym to help her walk and she wears supports for her feet, while also suffering from fatigue.
However, she is undaunted by the abseil challenge, which is happening over the weekend on July 9 and 10.
“One of the things my experiences have made me want to do is to try and help other people,” she said.
“During my treatment, there were lots of points where I thought, ‘I don’t want someone else in my position to have this problem.’
“I’m looking forward to the abseil. I think there are a few people who think I’m insane, but I don’t see it like that.
“I’ve been through a lot more than most of my peers. You keep going. If you can do something like this to help support such a good cause then it’s worth it.”
n Have you overcome a serious illness? Call The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or alternatively you can send an e-mail to starnews@evening star.co.uk