Teenager Bethany is the first recipient of Jamie’s Journie ‘treat’

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A young girl from Ballynahinch was the first recipient of a ‘treat day’ last week from newly set up local charity Jamie’s Journie.

The charity was set up by Jamie Harkin (16) after five years of cancer treatment. Currently Jamie has two ‘inactive’ tumours, after battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage IV (b) twice.

Setting up the charity Jamie wanted to help other young people like him who were diagnosed with cancer at a young age.

He said, “When you are facing a cancer diagnosis it’s very intimidating. The information is daunting and it’s hard to take it all in.

“I’m hoping that the website and Facebook page for Jamie’s Journie will give others like me somewhere to go to find support and information that is relevant to them.

“It also helps to see that what you are going through is normal.”

One of the young people who has connected with Jamie through his charity is Bethany Courtney.

She was diagnosed with two very rare cancers in August 2013 after three months of tests following a range of symptoms including night sweats, bruises and feeling overly tired.

Last week she travelled to Derry to meet Jamie and have a pamper day.

Jamie’s mum Trisha Harkin explained, “As well as the website and Facebook page Jamie’s Journie really wants to be able to treat children going through a cancer diagnosis, but with Jamie’s Journie we want to treat the whole family too.

“So Bethany is here with her sister, her mum and her boyfriend’s mum. They have been treated to a complete day of treats and pampering - in the hope that Bethany can focus on something else apart from her cancer.

“She also turned 18 today so it’s a birthday celebration too.”

Bethany was completely overwhelmed by the day.

“I have been blown away at how generous and lovely everyone has been. There are so many people to thank I don’t know where to start.

“I feel like a celebrity and am going home with so many gifts and treats, as well as memories from today.

“It has been unbelievable.”

The charity now hopes to raise enough funds to treat other young people with cancer, and further develop their website.

If you want to donate to Jamie’s Journie you can contact the charity through the Facebook page ... http://on.fb.me/1CgFBNj

Jamie’s Journie and Bethany would like to thank the following people for their support and generosity in making Bethany’s day possible:

* Gav Connelly, GC Photographics

* The City Hotel especially Rory Cooper and all the staff

* Occasions, Spencer Road

* Katrina Krokkee, Garden Vogue

* Dermot, 1st Choice Limos

* Leona Mc Cafferty, The Salon

* Tina McHugh, hairdressing

* Fiona and Staff, Boudoir Boutique

* Caroline Green, Foyleside Shopping Centre

* Pretty Betty Treasures (on Facebook)

* Craft Ideas (on Facebook)

* Ellie Ozzy Angels (on Facebook)

* Doire Dress Designs

* Fiona’s Gift Baskets (on Facebook)

* Classy Glass (on Facebook)

* Tara Vij @ Highlight Magazine