A teenage girl who practised her driving skills on the way home from receiving chemotherapy has passed her test at the first attempt
Katie Rickett (17) from Eye, passed with flying colours on Tuesday, just two weeks after finishing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She celebrated with her dad, Neil (48), from Whittlesey - who himself is recovering from head and neck cancer.
Katie said: “In April/May time I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I had had really bad hip pains, and was referred to Peterborough hospital for blood tests. Then it was thought I had glandular fever, and I went for a CT Scan. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May.
“I said to myself when I was diagnosed ‘I am 17 and I want to get my driving test’. I had only started lessons a couple of weeks before I was diagnosed.
“I had to go through six cycles of chemotherapy - some of the strongest available at Addenbrookes hospital.
“For a while I had to step back - there was a time when I couldn’t walk for a month, and needed a wheelchair.
“I have been keeping up with my coursework at sixth form college, and my lessons.
“On the way back from Addenbrookes and my treatment, I would get a bit of driving practise in, so when it came to taking my test, my driving instructor was very confident I would pass.
“I have a car - a Fiat 500 - and as soon as I passed I was in it.
“We went to celebrate for a meal on the night as well.”
Her dad was diagnosed with cancer in January - and Katie said her diagnosis had been a real shock.
She said: “I was shocked, because of what happened to my dad. It really took a couple of weeks to sink in before I came to terms with it.
“Mychemotherapy finished a couple of weeks ago, and on October 19 I should be getting the all clear.
“It has been a difficult year, so it will be nice to get some good news.”
Neil said he was incredibly proud of what his daughter had achieved.
He said: “I am not a church goer, but when I was diagnosed, I started going.
“I started asking ‘why me, why me,’ but then I realised ‘why not me?’
“This could happen to anyone.
“When Katie was diagnosed, I spoke to Him Above - I forgot about myself, it was all about my daughter.
“It really knocked me back. I was devastated.
“But you have to deal with it, you can’t bury your head in the sand.
“She had her last chemotherapy two weeks ago - it should have been last week, but doctors said she was doing so well.
“When she passed her driving test I had tears in my eyes. I am so proud of her. It was amazing.”
Neil said he was still making regular trips to the hospital, but had been told there was no sign of the cancer.
He said: “At the moment the doctors are really happy with what they are seeing - the surgery seems to have gone as well as it can.
“The only concern at the moment is my weight loss - I have lost three stones, but other than that, it has gone as well as can be hoped for.”