Moray teen to celebrate with 18th birthday bash days before gruelling operation

A Moray teenager is planning to get glammed-up to celebrate her 18th birthday in style – just days before a gruelling 22-hour operation that could lead to her having a leg amputated.

Dion Yates’ family was warned to fear the worst in January when the Lossiemouth teen’s cancer withstood intense chemotherapy.

But now, there has been a breakthrough in her treatment after scans showed the tumour in her hip had begun to shrink.

And the respite from the radiation has coincided with Dion reaching a milestone birthday.

Last night, her mum Kerry Yates explained that preparations had already begun to celebrate the special day.

She said: “It couldn’t have worked out better. We were worried that she was still going to be going through the chemo on her birthday – we would have still celebrated it, but it wouldn’t have been the same.

“She’s been really poorly since December. It doesn’t seem long ago we were being told just to enjoy our time left.

“Since the chemo finished, she’s back to her old self. She doesn’t let it bother her – and she’s wanting a big ballroom dress to wear for her birthday now.”

Close friends and family will be invited to the glitzy celebrations for the former Lossiemouth High School pupil’s grand occasion.

The April operation will involve a specialist team of 15 surgeons. During the procedure, Dion will have half her pelvis removed, which could lead to her either having her right leg amputated or it being left “floppy”.

The teen has already fought off the Ewing’s sarcoma bone disease once and has defied doctor’s expectations by stopping the cancer spreading to the rest of her body on its return.

Dion, who is an ardent martial arts fanatic, has already vowed to continue her kick boxing career as a coach following the operation.

And her mum is hopeful the operation will eliminate any hope of the cancer returning for a third time.

Mrs Yates added: “It’s just nice we have a plan now. At the beginning of the year, it seemed everything was day-by-day and we didn’t know what was going to happen.”