Fingers crossed for "our Yorkshire warrior" Taegan ahead of final chemo blast

The region is behind 11-year-old Taegan Pickles ahead of her final chemotherapy session on Monday.
The region is behind 11-year-old Taegan Pickles ahead of her final chemotherapy session on Monday.

Friends, family and perfect strangers of an 11-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare form of germ cell cancer in the run-up Christmas will keep their fingers crossed as she completes her final round of chemotherapy this week.

Taegan Pickles has been a source of inspiration for people across North Kirklees in the way she has dealt with her battle, raising several thousand pounds for cancer charities along the way.

World boxing champions Josh Warrington, nicknamed the Leeds Warrior, joined the Yorkshire Warrior in hospital.

World boxing champions Josh Warrington, nicknamed the Leeds Warrior, joined the Yorkshire Warrior in hospital.

And now, with blood tests indicating a positive response to her intensive treatment, her family is praying for good news following Monday’s final blast of chemo.

Fighting tears of pride, her mum Kelly Lister said: “She’s been incredible and she’s always found time to smile.

“We’ve had our down days and there have been times when the treatment has taken over. She’s said she doesn’t want to do this, or that she can’t do this, but we’ve stuck together and fought it. She always fights back.”

In the coming weeks Taegan, nicknamed ‘The Yorkshire Warrior’ by those close to her, will face a number of scans to determine the best course of action.

Young Taegan has impressed with her positive attitude through the gruelling treatment.

Young Taegan has impressed with her positive attitude through the gruelling treatment.

“It’s terrifying,” said Kelly, “but this is part of her life now, we know that. This isn’t something that just disappears and it’s a long process.

“But we get through it together. We’ve had so much support from all sorts of people - friends, family, but lots of people we don’t know, too.”

The Windmill Primary School pupil, who has two brothers - Lennon, nine, and Kingsley, four - has had visits and well-wishing messages from a host of Yorkshire celebrities, including world champion boxer Josh Warrington and Emmerdale star Eden Taylor-Draper.

Last month Batley Bulldogs head coach Matt Diskin had his body waxed to raise cash, and a number of local businesses have stepped out in support.

Kelly said: “It’s been completely overwhelming. You wonder why people are affected by this sort of thing but they are. When people talk to you they are so sincere and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done.

“Without them we couldn’t have raised all this money or raised awareness of these problems. Taegan is so grateful. We all are.”