TRIBUTES have been made to an inspirational teenager who touched the lives of many while battling cancer.
Bethany Tiller, 16, died last Friday after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2016.
She was such a strong young girl and had a beautiful character.Christian Burgess
The Cowplain School pupil had a bone marrow transplant last year in a bid to treat the cancer but it was unsuccessful.
Bethany died at her Denmead home surrounded by her parents David and Claire and siblings Jack and Charlotte.
David said: ‘She was inspirational, very brave and had the most amazing smile.
‘Despite everything she went through, she always had a smile on her face.
‘She touched the hearts of many people and had a great group of friends from school who were really supportive.
‘Lots of people have been in touch since she passed away and said some really nice things about her.’
After being diagnosed, Bethany underwent three months of intense chemotherapy and in March last year was told the cancer had gone.
But the family were given devastating news a week later, when she started feeling ill again and a scan revealed the cancer had returned.
Bethany had the transplant but the cancer returned again more aggressively.
Doctors suggested more chemotherapy but Bethany chose to be at home instead and live her life out of hospital like a normal teenager.
He added: ‘Bethany wanted some time being normal and being at home. She wanted to see friends, not spend time in a hospital bed.
‘We were told to bring Christmas forward because the doctors didn’t know how long she would have without more treatment.
‘But we decided not to and just to keep going like normal.
‘She was so strong and brave and kept going until last Friday. That just shows how strong a fighter she was.’
Pompey player Christian Burgess and former Blues player Kyle Bennett also paid tribute to Bethany.
The pair visited the Tiller family several times and paid for them to go to London for Christmas.
Christian, who saw Bethany just days before she died, said: ‘She never seemed fazed by anything thrown at her.
‘She was always positive and had the biggest smile on her face. She was such a strong young girl and had a beautiful character.
‘Bethany will be missed but she will live on in the memory of everyone who knew her.’
Kyle added: ‘She was always upbeat considering what she was going through.
‘It was very humbling meeting her and being able to be a part of her life.
‘Her story touched a lot of people, it did me and Christian, and she will be truly missed.’