Family pay tribute to beautiful and brave 15-year-old Cleckheaton girl with a huge heart

A heartbroken family have paid tribute to a courageous Cleckheaton girl who has died, aged just 15.

By sarah fitton
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:26 pm

Phoebe Gibson, from Hartshead Moor, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday after a three-year battle with cancer.

"She was so brave," said her mum, Philippa Gibson.

"She has always made us smile. She was just a generous, kind, happy girl."

Phoebe Gibson, from Hartshead Moor

Phoebe, who went to Brighouse High School and used to help out at her family's business - Harefield Farm Shop in Hartshead Moor - was diagnosed with the rare cancer osteosarcoma in 2019 after developing leg ache and a lump above her right knee.

She started gruelling chemotherapy treatment almost immediately but her leg could not be saved and had to be amputated.

"We were absolutely devastated but she just took it on the chin," said Philippa. "She would say to her dad, Michael, 'don't worry, it will be fine'."

The cancer had also spread to Phoebe's lungs, and the next three years saw Phoebe undergo more surgery and treatment as she continued to fight the disease when it returned to her lungs and then later was discovered in her stomach.

Phoebe's family organised a party at their home to celebrate her turning 15 last year.

But six weeks ago the brave teen and her loved ones were given the devastating news from Phoebe's doctors that there was nothing more they could do.

Philippa said her daughter approached all of her health battles and treatment with positivity and courage, and making the most of her life.

"She never said 'why me?' or 'why have I got to go through this?'

"She was such a lovely human being. We're fortunate that we have some beautiful, happy memories of us as a family."

Phoebe mastered walking on crutches quickly and even completed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

Phoebe had adapted well to using her crutches and even completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award Bronze Challenge.

Philippa said Phoebe had a prosthetic leg but preferred to use walk on her crutches because she was so quick on them.

Phoebe had started skiing when she was three and was keen to get back to the sport. Philippa is Principal at PM Gibson School of Theatre Dance in Scholes and Phoebe also shared her mother's love of dancing.

Last August, Phoebe's parents organised a big party at their home to celebrate her 15th birthday, followed by a trip to London.

Phoebe celebrating her birthday in London last year

She was very close to her brother Tobias, 17, and sister Imogen, 20, and loved animals, owning a host of creatures at her family's farm including a pygmy goat, ducks, hens, rabbits and a horse.

"She wanted to be a presenter on Countryfile," said Philippa.

"She loved animals and they loved her."

The family are planning to open 'Phoebe's Zoo' at their farm shop so that other people can enjoy seeing their daughter's animals. Local builders have already raised £2,500 towards the project.

Earlier this year, Phoebe organised a cake sale at her mum's dance studio which raised £7,000 for Candlelighters and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

"She was very selfless," said Philippa. "Whenever it was anybody's birthday, she would make sure they had a card and a present. She loved giving.

The 15-year-old adored animals

"She had a massive heart. She just wanted to make people happy."

Phoebe's funeral takes place on May 19 at 2.30pm at Scholes Parish Church.

Donations will go to the Laura Crane Trust, Bradford Hospitals Charity and Forget Me Not Hospice.