"Inspirational" 15-year-old to carry Olympic torch
An inspirational 15-year old girl who has battled three brain tumours has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch this summer.
Josephine Baker, from Chadacre Road in Stoneleigh and a student at Nonsuch High in Cheam, was diagnosed with the tumours at the age of nine and has since gone through two bouts of chemotherapy and had two brain operations.
Her mum, Alison, said: "She had really bad headaches and sickness when she was nine. I took her to A&E three times but they didn’t think anything was wrong.
"Finally, I said 'this is not my daughter, something is wrong'.
"Eventually she had a CT scan and they discovered she had three tumours."
Josephine, who delivers the Epsom Guardian in the Stoneleigh area, was nominated to carry the Olympic torch by her mum who has described her as an ‘inspiration’.
She said: "She has been so determined and positive throughout it all and an inspiration to a lot of people.
"She’s not given into anything and she’s just carried on with it and dealt with it in a really grown-up way.
"She is one determined young lady."
The teenager was "unbelievably excited" to find out she had been selected as a torchbearer two weeks ago, but wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until this week when the list was officially announced.
But despite living in Stoneleigh, Josephine will be carrying the flame on July 25 through Enfield, even though the flame will be travelling through parts of Mole Valley, Sutton and Croydon.
Mrs Baker said: "It's at least an hour and a half away which is really sad because all her friends can’t come and see her.
"It’s weird that people living here aren’t getting to run this stretch. But we aren’t complaining.
"We will go up there and we have family in Essex that are going to come across as well so it will be a great day."
While her brain tumours are a constant worry, Josephine is currently studying for her GCSE’s and has ambitions to be a fashion photographer.
Mrs Baker added: "She gets headaches some times and it’s something that never goes away as they are always there.
"We never know if they are going to be active or dormant and it’s a bit of a roller coaster.
"She just really wants to get her GCSES out of the way. She just works really hard and makes the best of everything."