Great news for young Cookstown Diana Award winner as mum gets ‘all clear’ from cancer

Courageous Jasmine with her family at Stormont
Courageous Jasmine with her family at Stormont

Just weeks after inspirational Cookstown school girl Jasmine Chan won a Diana Award, her mum has been given the all clear from cancer.

Jasmine was presented with the prize for most courageous citizen during a special ceremony at Stormont.

The eight-year-old’s life was thrown into turmoil when her mother, Sharon, was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour in 2014.

Just six at the time, Jasmine then became a carer not just for her mum, but also her severely autistic brother Matthew when her father worked to keep the family afloat.

But since Jasmine won the prestigious award in December, the Chan family has been blessed with some very good news.

Her dad Jeremy told the Mail Sharon has now been given the all clear after a gruelling few years filled with chemo, radiotherapy and a couple of surgeries.

“She got the all clear,” he said, “the doctor had said that the tumour disappeared.”

Great news for Chan family after a tough few years that all started when Sharon collapsed while collecting young Matthew from school in January 2014.

After being admitted to hospital, scans were taken and “a black mass” was later discovered in her brain.

“We were sent home,” Jeremy explained, “then we got a phone call to say ‘we want to operate on you immediately’ and the day they wanted to operate was actually Sharon’s 40th birthday.”

After removing the first tumour, Jeremy said further masses were then found, which meant another operation, followed by months of chemo and radiotherapy.

But, while Sharon was unwell, the family was hit with more bad news as her father and aunt passed away within a week of each other, and Mr Chan himself ended up in hospital with kidney stones.

But through it all Jasmine helped to look after the family.

As well as caring for her brother and helping her mother take hot baths, as she was not allowed to be unattended, Jasmine kept others who were helping at the home right - as her brother’s condition meant things had to be done a certain way.

“Because family couldn’t always be there, Jasmine had to keep an eye on Sharon and look after Matthew,” Jeremy said. “He doesn’t understand and he would have to be kept to a certain type of routine.”

For showing such courage in a difficult situation Jasmine’s teachers at Cookstown Primary went on to nominate her for the Diana Award.

“We felt very proud of her,” her dad said. “When you told other people they thought it was exceptionally brave.”