A TEENAGER who was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer at 13-years-old is launching her own charity to help other youngsters with cancer.

Tabitha Wood, now 15, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, was diagnosed with a fast-growing ovarian cancer after feeling tired and noticing a lump in her stomach.

Tests showed she had a tumour the size of a melon and she underwent emergency surgery at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) to remove it.

The Bradford Grammar School (BGS) student was spurred on to create her own cause after raising more than £22k for the teenage cancer ward at LGI and Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony, a charity which grants equine wishes for seriously ill people. The feat was reached with a tough 250 mile cycle ride from London to Leeds in the summer with dad, Adrian, 58, and brother Ben, 19.

Tabby, who is in remission, said: “I feel well now and it meant a lot to be able to do the cycle ride. When I was on the cancer ward, everyone looked a bit sad and it would be nice to have something which would take their minds off things, like iPads.

"I really love horses and I know how much horses have helped me in my recovery, so I wanted to give back to a charity which makes wishes come true for people who love horses and are ill.

“Since then, with my friends at BGS and family, we’ve thought of new challenges. That’s what gave me the idea to set up a charity, so we can carry on fundraising and help other children who have cancer.”

As she recovered, the resilient teenager focused on being able to ride her pony again. She succeeded and, in July, represented England with her pony, Brandini, at the under 25 dressage Home International and the British Dressage Youth Inter Regional Rider Championships where she was overnight leader and finished ninth overall.

Mum Sarah said: “The doctors didn’t know how she’d shown so few symptoms. The diagnosis was quite a lot for someone so young to take in, it was very tough for everyone. The NHS was on it from the very first day we went and the BGS family put us in touch with Professor Michael Seckl, a world expert in Tabby’s cancer.

“Throughout Tabby just got on with it. She never said ‘why me?’ We’re so proud of her.”

Tabby now has blood tests every two months and scans every three.

Dr Simon Hinchliffe, Bradford Grammar head, said: “Tabby is a true inspiration to all of us and she is the living embodiment of our school motto, Hoc Age, which translates as ‘get on and do’."