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Inspirational Wirral tennis player is guest of honour at cancer charity ball
8:00am Sunday 3rd November 2013 in News
A WIRRAL tennis player who fought cancer and then won a coveted sports scholarship to America will talk about her experiences during a special charity ball later this month.
Ollie’s Ball, taking place at Hillbark Hotel in Frankby on November 30, has been organised in honour of 22-year old Olivia Battye from Thornton Hough.
Proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK's Manchester Institute, formerly known as the Paterson Institute.
As well as hearing Ollie talk about her inspirational cancer experience, guests will be entertained by TV impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw and live band Junction 12.
Olivia was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in 2009 after suffering with back pain.
She currently studying at Houston University in Texas, and is due to return to England a week before the fundraising event later this month.
She said: "Because I was so sporty my GP thought it was a muscle problem.
"But as an athlete I was very body aware and knew it was something else."
Her instincts proved correct when doctors discovered she was suffering from stage four Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Olivia, a former pupil at Birkenhead High School, feared her tennis career was over after she underwent 14 sessions of chemotherapy as well as back surgery and was confined to a hospital bed for most of 2010.
But the dedicated athlete, not only recovered, she went on to win a tennis scholarship to study Sports Science at Sam Houston University in Texas.
She said: "Recovering from cancer made me more determined than ever to do something with my life and pursue my tennis dreams.
"It was difficult being a 17-year-old and getting cancer. That’s the time you want to be out with your friends, having fun, not losing your hair and ballooning from steroids.
"But it completely changed my outlook. It spurred me on. Before being diagnosed I never thought I would come to America, surviving gave me the confidence to really go for it."
During her illness and recovery Olivia raised more than £50,000 for charity.
Looking forward to attending the ball on November 30, she said: "I'm really looking forward to the evening.
"I think it’s going to be a great success. There are some brilliant prizes in the auction, which will hopefully raise lots of money for the Institute so that more people can benefit from life-saving treatment."
Peter Schofield, chairman of the Tetrosyl Group, main sponsors of the event, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Olivia to raise money for the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, a leading research centre attached to the Christie Hospital.
“The night promises to be very special and continues from the previous Ball more than three years ago.”
Tickets and further information are from Nadika Snowden at NSnowden@tetrosyl.com or 0161 764 5981.
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