Teenager Nevah Richards, of Crossways, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer earlier on in the year.

Since then, she has received her first round of chemotherapy which saw the tumour shrink to almost half its size.

The young cricketer, 13, who plays for Dorchester Cricket Club, has received much support from the local community since she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.

Some £11,365 has been raised to help Nevah and for a charity campaigning to diagnose Ewing Sarcoma cancer earlier with a new innovative blood test.

As reported, Nevah has lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy, prompting her friend Sophie Brown of Puddletown to shave her hair in solidarity.

Nevah is now four months into her treatment and has decided to document her journey in a series of diary entries to the Dorset Echo.

Over to Nevah.

"My name is Nevah, I am 13-years-old and in May of this year I was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.  I love playing sport, especially cricket, hockey, and athletics.

"My family moved from Okehampton in Devon to Dorchester last September and just four months later I started to feel not myself.

"I started to feel very tired and exhausted constantly and struggled to make it through a school day.  As soon as I got home from school, I would fall asleep, wake up for dinner and go straight back to sleep.

"I still took part in PE because it was my favourite lesson even though it didn’t help me feeling so tired. My mum took me to the doctors a couple of times, and they put the symptoms down to a sports injury, because I was unable to lift my right leg when lying down, and hormonal issues.

"It wasn’t until May this year that a solid lump suddenly appeared in my upper pelvic area and I wasn’t able to walk properly or very far, so my Dad took me to A&E one Friday evening and we were five minutes away from being discharged with constipation medication before they then decided to send us to Kingfisher Ward for extra checks.

"I had to have an MRI scan which was horrible because I had to remain completely still and they struggled to get the equipment in the right place over my pelvic area because the lump was so big.  I felt panicky and scared because I didn’t know what was going on and the machine makes really horrible loud noises.

"They had to stop at one point because I was so upset but Mum manged to calm me down and they put on some music to help me relax.  Mum wasn’t allowed to get too close so she could only hold my feet, but that was enough to know she was there with me. Since then, I have had copious MRI scans and I am now an expert!

"We were sent to Southampton a few days later for a biopsy and to have a central line put in (a semi-permanent tube that goes into a large vein, that they can give me medicine through and take blood from), which was the first time I have ever been put to sleep.  Soon after this I was told of the diagnosis, and they wanted to start emergency chemotherapy.

"After this first cycle of chemo, the tumour almost halved in size and I was immediately able to walk freely again and lift my leg when lying down.  Mum and Dad take it in turns to stay in hospital with me and we play games and watch movies when I am not too tired.

"We decided to setup an Instagram account so we can send silly photos to my sister, Marla and to keep her informed of how I was doing. We have now decided to make our account public to make it easier to keep friends, family, and other people up to date with how I am doing.  I have really enjoyed doing the Instagram posts and have even had messages from famous sports people!  My account is nevad_23 if anyone wants to follow me.

"I am now over four months into treatment, which has so far been a whirlwind of a very harsh chemotherapy regime of every two weeks.  The chemo treatment alternates between a two-day treatment or five-day treatment.  My body has continued to respond well to the chemo and the tumour has continued to shrink in size but due to the initial size of the tumour, there are still complications as it has probably affected other parts of me within my pelvic area.

"Chemo is horrible. I felt really sick to begin with until they got the anti-sickness medication right, it makes me feel very tired and I am constantly hooked up to a machine that is giving me six litres of fluids a day. The machine beeps every time a medicine is nearly finished and then actually finished and other beeps in between.

"This goes on all through the night as well. I started to lose my hair after my first chemo treatment and about a month later decided to shave it all off.  I have been given wigs but actually prefer to be bald as they are quite hot to wear, and everyone says I look great with a bald head!

Dorset Echo: Nevah's hair lossNevah's hair loss (Image: AdamRichards)

"I get to go home in-between treatments for a few days but have quite often had to go into the Kingfisher Ward at Dorchester for high temperatures, central line infections, blood transfusions, platelet transfusion, central line being blocked, and I also got shingles.

"Looking back, it feels like the last four months have gone quickly but during this time it felt slow.  I have missed being at school with friends, playing sport at weekends and seeing my sister every day.  I have managed to go and watch some of The Dorchester Ladies Cricket team matches which has been great fun and I have really missed playing and training with them.

"I have one more chemo cycle to go, which is next week, I then get to be at home for three weeks before spending the next six or seven weeks at UCLH in London for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

"At this stage, after having to go to Stanmore hospital in Watford for meetings, surgery has been ruled out due to the size and location of the tumour and the complexity of the procedure."

Nevah x