A teenager who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant is celebrating after getting through to the final of Junior Miss Lancashire.
Rachel Simpson is recovering from life-saving surgery after being diagnosed with a mutated GATA2 gene.
Without the transplant, the rare genetic condition would have led to leukaemia, a form of blood cancer which can kill.
Now the 15-year-old Heysham High School pupil is preparing for catwalks and glamour after finding out she is in the top 20 of the beauty competition. Rachel, from Heysham, signed up shortly after her appearance at the James Bond stunt show at Reel Cinema in Morecambe, where she went as a glamour Bond girl “fighting” off cancer.
She was inspired to enter the pageant after becoming friends with local beauty queen Harley Anderson, surprising mum Donna.
Rachel said: “I signed up for a bit of a laugh, I never thought I would get somewhere and now I am starting to take it seriously.”
Donna said: “I didn’t think anything about it, next minute she is saying she has got through to the final. It was a bit of a shock. She has never been interested in anything like this, rugby yes, long dresses, no.”
The competition rounds include an eco round, where contestants have to make their own dress from recycled materials, a sportswear round, evening wear round.
Donna said: “I am not one of these mums who is going to stamp their feet if she doesn’t win, they grow up so quick, I just want her to enjoy it.”
Rachel needs to raise £150 for the competition’s chosen charity, the Variety Children’s charity, as well as get as many likes as possible on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Rachel-Simpson-Junior-Miss-Lancashire-2016-Finalist.
The final will be held on February 28.