ADORABLE Becky Bell looks just like any happy six-year-old enjoying her summer holidays.
But behind the smile lies devastation as she faces a battle for life against brain cancer.
Just three weeks ago, the “beautiful and happy” girl and her loving family were hit with the heartbreaking news that Becky is suffering with brain cancer.
Instead of enjoying her summer holidays and playing out with her friends, the brave youngster is now fighting for her life and faces 12 weeks of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy to reduce a tumour the size of a golf ball.
She is set to celebrate her seventh birthday in just two weeks’ time, but will enjoy a huge fancy dress party this Saturday before the treatment takes its toll.
Her parents, Julie, 40 and Mark, 35, spoke of the heartbreak of the crushing moment they were told of the diagnosis.
But the couple insist they will stay strong for their “perfect” daughter and won’t stop believing that she can pull through.
“She is just like any other six-year-old girl,” said Julie.
“She loves playing with all of her friends, loves Disney and adores Justin Bieber and JLS.”
It was three months ago when Becky, who is a pupil at Rift House Primary School, in the town, started to suffer with minor headaches and sickness.
Julie and Mark thought their daughter had picked up a bug but last month the youngster started having problems with her eyes.
Her family took her to Sunderland Eye Infirmary, and doctors moved her to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
It was there where Julie and Mark were told the news no parents should have to hear – their daughter was suffering with a tumour.
Becky was then moved to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), in Newcastle, where she had an operation on her brain and doctors confirmed that the tumour was cancerous.
“I can’t describe that moment,” said Mark, a taxi controller at Cameron Taxis, in Hartlepool.
“How do you prepare yourself for something like that?
“It was awful, devastating.
“But we have to stay positive, we have to stay strong, we won’t stop believing.”
Becky had the operation at the RVI to drain the fluid from her brain into her stomach to cut out the headaches.
Earlier this week she began six weeks of gruelling radiotherapy at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, as well as chemotherapy at home.
After a four-week break the youngster then has another six weeks of treatment ahead.
“We will have a better idea of the condition after the radiotherapy and chemo,” added Julie, also a mum to Becky’s heartbroken brother and sister, Mark, 11, who is starting at English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College in September, and Vicki, 22, an animator.
“Becky knows she isn’t very well.
“Last week she asked me whether the reason she was poorly is because she has cancer.
“But she is still smiling, and she is still joking.
“What we don’t want is pity.
“Becky is an absolutely beautiful girl with so much character.
“That big smile is never off her face.”