Fresher died of cancer after doctors thought she wanted to look like a ‘stick insect’
She was diagnosed on the day she was meant to start uni
A teenager died after an aggressive cancer went undiagnosed for five months, because ignorant doctors insisted she just wanted to be thin.
Georgia Marrison, 18, was told she had stomach cancer, which had also spread to her eyes and ovaries, on the day she was due to move to Sheffield University.
But the fresher had been drastically losing weight and vomiting for months, with doctors dismissing it as anaemia because she wanted “to look like a stick insect.”
She then died in November last year.
Georgia, a student at Thomas Rotherham College in Rotherham, first went to the doctors in May 2014.
She was prescribed iron tablets but continued to vomit, lost two stone, and collapsed frequently.
Only when she went to Northern General A&E in September – the day she was set to move to uni and begin her degree in English Literature – was she was diagnosed with cancer of the eye and the ovaries.
By this point she was also suffering from meningitis, a side effect of cancer.
Georgia’s mum Joanne is “shocked” with the way doctors treated her daughter.
She said: “The doctor said to her, ‘Georgia you are looking very pale and I know what you 18-year-old girls are like for wanting to look like stick insects’.
“I was really taken aback because he hadn’t even spoken to her. I was quite shocked because he had prejudged her.
“He diagnosed her with dietary anaemia. After that we went to the GP and every time we went back it was ‘yes, she has severe anaemia’.
“She kept throwing up and couldn’t keep anything down. One day she said ‘mum, what can I eat that will taste nice on the way back up?’
“I know my children and it couldn’t have been further from the truth that she was trying to be a stick insect.
“She loved her food but was never overweight. She was healthy.”
Joanne, 51, is now campaigning for parents and medics to pay greater attention to the symptoms of teenage cancer.
She added: “I’m not here to say they could have saved Georgia because it was so aggressive, but my main aim is she was ignored so many times and it was all because she was a teenager, and it has got to stop.”
“We have our own Teenage Cancer Unit in Sheffield which has got to mean this is on the increase.”
“If GPs are just going to ignore the warning signs because they are 13, 19 and 20 then it’s just wrong.
“It was a horrendous time for her. My hope now is she didn’t die in vain.”
Joanne is now fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of her daughter.