A TEENAGE girl who overcame cancer just months ago was today preparing to move to the USA after winning a university sports scholarship.
Olivia Battye, 19, from Thornton Hough, Wirral, jets off on January 1 to Troy University in Alabama for a four-year degree.
She was offered the amazing opportunity because of her tennis playing prowess and will be able to play the sport every day.
The Birkenhead High School sixth former was diagnosed with bone cancer in January 2009 after suffering with back pain.
She has now been free from the disease for 11 months but still has regular check-ups to make sure the disease has not returned.
Throughout her battle, which included 14 doses of chemotherapy, Olivia raised nearly £50,000 for charity.
She also documented her cancer journey through an online video diary with the cancer charity Clic Sargent.
Olivia said: “It is an unbelievable opportunity. The scholarship funds basically everything, my tuition fees, living costs, food. And it is such a different way of life there. The weather is warm and perfect to play tennis in.
“I can’t wait to get properly back into it. Obviously the illness has affected my fitness so I am trying to get that back.
“The steroids also made me put on weight but I am getting there and feel much stronger.
“I am nervous. I have never been to America before but I am so excited.
“I got the scholarship by showing a video of my playing. I then needed to take the SATs (American school exams) and I passed. My visa was granted in November.”