A mother has paid tribute to her inspirational daughter who refused to give up hope despite being twice diagnosed as terminally ill.

Megan Carr, whose first radiotherapy treatment was captured in a ground-breaking TV advert from Cancer Research UK, defied all the odds to beat her rare type of cancer and make it to her 18th birthday before deteriorating on Christmas Eve and dying at her Thornton home four days later surrounded by her doting family.

Her mum Karen Carr, 50, said her daughter had left an aching gap in their lives but would not have wanted them “to sit round crying.”

Mrs Carr, of Thornton Road, said: “The cancer took her body but it never took her fighting spirit. She never gave up hope and would not allow us to give up either. Megan would not have wanted us to sit round crying. She was so bubbly, so outgoing, such a little fighter. If we were down, she’d lift us up. She’s still doing that.”

Megan, who was a health and social care student at Bradford College, had donated two of her tumours for research over the past three years, hoping to help find a cure for cancer.

“In the three years she had cancer I only saw her cry about it three times. All she wanted was to make a difference, to help find a cure which would mean no other teenagers or little ones would have to get cancer,” added Mrs Carr, who has an older son Ryan and another daughter Amy.

Funeral arrangements are still being made but donations will be taken in her memory in aid of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Nurses.

In 2016, TV viewers watched Megan having a specially-moulded mask placed over her face and shoulders before being lined up ready for radiotherapy treatment at the Leeds Cancer Centre. It was part of the charity’s Right Now campaign.

In March 2015, the teenager had noticed unusual lumps appearing on both sides of her neck and after tests was given the devastating news that it was cancer - Hodgkin Lymphoma - which is the less common type of cancer of the lymphatic system. She was transferred to Leeds Children’s Hospital and had six months of chemotherapy treatment, followed by radiotherapy.

Doctors gave her the all-clear but the disease returned and in 2016 was told she was terminally ill. She took part in a pioneering drugs trial which worked for a while but in summer 2017 was told for a second time her cancer was terminal. In June 2016, Megan was picked to inspire more than 1,200 women from all over the district who entered the Bradford Race For Life at Lister Park to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

“She was and still is an inspiration," said Mrs Carr.