A CHESTER teenager is recovering from brain surgery three-and-a-half years after her sister was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Molly Jones, 16, of Westminster Park, underwent the surgery to drain an arachnoid cyst at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool last month.

The surgeon, Mr Mallucci, was the same doctor who is treating her sister Hannah, 18, for an anaplastic astrocytoma, a high-grade brain tumour.

The sisters have only just celebrated the fact that mum Dianne has returned to work following treatment for breast cancer which included a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Dad Steve, a lecturer at Edge Hill University, whom Hannah describes with her customary good humour, as ‘the only well one in the family’ describes the two-year wait for Molly’s diagnosis.

“Molly was suffering from headaches and because of our experience with Hannah, we took her straight to the GP.

“She was referred for an MRI scan which was reported as normal but the headaches continued to the point where she was getting four or five a day and on occasion passed out.”

Molly was referred to a paediatrician at the Countess of Chester hospital and eventually to a neurologist at Alder Hey. A further MRI scan came back as normal and she was treated for migraine and epilepsy.

Steve said: “The treatment was having no effect on the headaches so about six weeks ago we saw the neurosurgeon at Alder Hey who gave Molly a CT scan, which showed the possibility of a cyst.”

Thankfully the cyst is benign but Molly’s operation involved drilling a burr-hole at the base of her brain to release pressure.

If the pressure builds up again, Molly may have to have a larger operation in the future.

A week after surgery Molly was back at Christleton High School sitting a GCSE drama module.

Steve says: “Molly loves her drama and music and there was nothing Dianne or I could do to stop her!

“We have had absolutely exceptional service from Alder Hey and I have absolute faith in the team there.

“I would, however, encourage parents to seek advice from doctors straight away.

“It’s all too easy to put headaches down to hormones or growing pains, but our experience with Hannah and Molly has taught us to keep asking questions.”

A TEENAGE cancer sufferer who will receive a national award this weekend says she is lucky to be alive.

Hannah Jones, 18, will be crowned an RIBI (Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland) Young Citizen at a ceremony in Bournemouth on Saturday.

Hannah will share the award, for raising £150,000 for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (SDBTT), with Alice Pyne, of Cumbria, who despite being terminally ill, has continued to campaign for the Anthony Nolan Trust, to increase the number of people on the bone marrow transplant register.

University of Chester student Hannah said: “I want to stress how lucky I am to still be alive. It is a rare occurrence for a brain tumour patient to live three years after diagnosis.”

Hannah is passionate about raising awareness for research into brain cancer and has lobbied parliament for more money to be invested into the study of causes and treatment. Brain tumour research receives a very small slice of cancer funds, despite being one of the biggest killers of children.

Hannah and Alice were nominated for the RIBI award by the Torbay and Babbacombe branches of the Rotary Club following a talk by Luke Tillen, who runs the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). Both girls have benefited from Luke’s charity, which offers free holidays to families who have seriously ill or bereaved children.

Luke said: “I was asked to speak about my charity and I thought: ‘What better way to describe what it does than to highlight the work done by these two inspirational youngsters’.”

Hannah plans to donate her share of the £500 prize money to Luke’s charity. She said: “He’s amazing. I can’t tell you how fantastic he is.”

The award, which will be broadcast live on BBC News, is not the first to be won by the plucky teenager.

Last September Hannah met Prince Harry when she was presented with a WellChild award at a glittering ceremony in London. She was also voted 2010 Trinity Mirror Cheshire/ScottishPower Champion of Champions and was the BBC Switch Live 2009 Teen Hero.

Hannah, who has treatment including regular scans for her tumour, has also been chosen to carry the Olympic torch through Hawarden before it reaches Chester on May 29.

She said: “What an amazing opportunity. Imagine being able to say you’ve carried that torch.”

For details on the SDBTT visit braintumourtrust.co.uk. To find out more about THHN visit www.thhn.co.uk .

HANNAH Jones, now 18, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in August 2008, when she was in the middle of her GCSE course at Christleton High School.

She has had three operations to remove a 7cm tumour, six weeks of radiotherapy and more than 12 months of intensive chemotherapy. During the third operation Hannah had a stroke, which initially left her paralysed down her left side, but thanks to intensive physiotherapy and a lot of hard work, Hannah learned to walk again.

She has been left with left-sided weakness, but this hasn’t stopped her from enjoying life and raising £150,000 for Alder Hey's Imagine Appeal Oncology Fund and the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust.

During her gruelling treatment, Hannah achieved eight GCSE grades, including two As, two A levels including a top A* grade in health and social care (double award) and is now at the University of Chester studying to become a primary school teacher.