Inspirational Norwich schoolgirl who battled cancer achieves her modelling dream
PUBLISHED: 07:57 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28 17 December 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
An inspirational Norwich schoolgirl who has battled cancer has spoken of her joy at finding her happy ending and being crowned Christmas model of the year.
10-year-old Brogan Didwell, from Morse Road, was just five when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and the brave youngster faced three years of treatment including gruelling chemotherapy and lengthy hospital stays.
Throughout that time the St William’s Primary School pupil refused to let her situation stop her smiling, and one of her dreams was to become a model - a wish she is delighted to have achieved this festive season. Brogan, who has been in remission from leukaemia for two years, was crowned Christmas Pre Teen Model of the Year 2017 at a competition run by the Kerri Parker Academy at Wensum Valley Hotel to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
“I thought it was a dream. I didn’t really think that it was real. It was really nice to have the crown put on my head and to say that I was first,” said Brogan.
“Because of my leukaemia I spent most of my time in hospital, I didn’t really get to go outside and to do all those modelling things so I put it on my wish list and I wanted to make that wish come true.”
Brogan, who was previously runner-up in a Miss Norfolk competition, specifically did not mention her cancer battle to the judges.
“I wanted to win because I’m Brogan, not because of my cancer,” she said.
“I just don’t want to live life with people making a fuss of me because of my cancer, I just want to be me.”
Brogan said singing, smiling and her family - including her parents Sarah and Jimmy and her brothers Faron and Tyler - kept her strong as she fought her way back to health, and she has taken lots of positives from her experiences.
“Now it is over, obviously it’s bad having cancer, but without having had cancer I don’t think I would have such an amazing life that I have because that has shown me so much. I’ve gained confidence, I’ve become stronger in myself. I am really happy that I went through this journey because I didn’t go through it on my own, I went through it with my family, so I am really happy I went through it, and I beat it.”
When asked about her hopes for the future, she said: “Just to have a happy ending really, well I have already got it! To not have anything bad in the future, just to have a happy ending.”
She added: “I’m looking forward to Christmas morning, spending all my time with my family and opening presents.”
“SHE’S A SUPERSTAR”
Brogan’s mum Sarah Didwell described her daughter as a “superstar”
“Brogan’s dad and I are very proud of her. She’s always been smiley and basically she just took every day in her stride and she’s never given up.”
She added: “She’s done so well. She’s had complication after complication, and although she’s had the all clear from cancer she’s still battling different effects from the chemo. She still has problems with her stomach, but she still goes to school every day, she doesn’t like to miss school. “She’s a superstar really.”
At times Brogan had to use a wheelchair because the chemo affected her leg muscles, and Mrs Didwell said it made it all the more special now to see her daughter enjoying dancing, sports and modelling.
“To see her walk down that catwalk is just amazing,” she said. “I just want to say thank you to Kerri Parker Academy for making Brogan’s wish come true.”