Northern Ireland news

Co Down teenager loses her battle with cancer after 'crusade' to fulfil her dreams

Courtney McCormick has died at just 18
Seanín Graham

A CO DOWN teenager who embarked on a 'bucket list' of adventures after learning she had terminal cancer has lost her battle with the disease.

Courtney McCormick (18) from Warrenpoint travelled to EuroDisney in Paris, petted sea lions and flew in a small aircraft in the months before her passing on Monday.

The popular girl, a former pupil of St Mark's High school, was first diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was 16 and thought she had beaten it after undergoing surgery.

Following a routine scan last year she received the devastating diagnosis the disease had returned and she had only months to live.

A hairdressing salon in the town - where Courtney donated her hair two year ago after aggressive chemotherapy treatment - launched a massive fundraising drive in February to help her "achieve her dreams".

More than £8,600 was donated through a Gofundme page, entitled Courtney's Crusade.

She travelled to EuroDisney in Paris and just over a fortnight ago went to Portaferry to feed sea lions.

While she was too ill to fulfil her skydiving dream, she managed to get up in the air in a small plane.

Staff at the Thee1 Salon hairdressers last night described the teenager as a "strong and amazing" person.

"She had a great sense of humour and embraced life. She never let you know she was ill and was so confident," they said.

"Just after she lost her hair she came into us and said she wanted to give it to the Princess Trust.

"Only three weeks ago she came to get her hair done and she looked so well. There was always a glimmer of hope she would get better. She became very sick the last two weeks."

"Her family are just devastated, her mother Teresa was her absolute pillar."

Online tributes were posted yesterday, with one friend, Naomi Reilly, saying: "Fly high our princess, all our girls and fellas love you so much, will forever be in our hearts."

The teenager is survived by her parents, Teresa and John, and her brothers, Kaige and Cayden.

The funeral will take place tomorrow, with Requiem Mass at St Peter's Church at 10.30am.

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