Katie (17) passes driving test at first attempt two weeks after finishing chemotherapy - and a few months after her dad was diagnosed with cancer

A teenage girl who practised her driving skills on the way home from receiving chemotherapy has passed her test at the first attempt

Sunday, 9th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:16 pm
Katie Rickett (17) of Whittlesey, a cancer patient, who has just passed her driving test - pictured with Samuel and Abigail Rickett playing with track cars EMN-160410-230405009

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.

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Katie Rickett

“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.

Katie Rickett

“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.”