world : TikTok star who died of cancer honoured with award

world : TikTok star who died of cancer honoured with award
world : TikTok star who died of cancer honoured with award

Monday 1 July 2024 08:30 AM

Nafeza 2 world - A TikTok star who died from a rare cancer has been honoured with a modelling award created specially for her.

Leah Smith, 22, from Woolton, was given the Miss Inspiration title on behalf of the Miss British Isles competition in 2021.

But the Covid-19 pandemic meant Leah, who suffered from bone cancer, was unable to collect it.

Leah died on March 11 this year. Her mother Jenny said the award now "sits proudly" next to Leah's memorial at their home.

Leah, who was survived by brother, Liam, 21, and sister, Orla, five, was an aspiring model before she was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in October 2019 at the age of 18.

Jenny and Liam collected the award on her behalf at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Chester, where she had entered in previous Miss British Isles competitions, winning Miss Woolton in 2018.

"It was lovely. We met all the winners, a lot of them were telling us how Leah told them to go for it, to go for Miss British Isles, and how she inspired them to do it. And they've done it and won it.

"It was emotional but happy, a nice feeling," Jenny said.

Howard Smith, who has been running the Miss British Isles modelling competition for 20 years, said the inspiration award for Ms Smith was conceived because of "the sheer bravery of making the whole journey public".

He said: "She has to be the most inspirational young lady we have ever met in 20 years, so it was such a shame we couldn't get her to the final."

He added: "I can't believe how much effect she has had on everybody.

Leah reached millions of people on TikTok, recording her daily life living with the cancer, which is most frequently diagnosed in people aged 10 to 20.

More than 60,000 messages of support were left for Leah, her family and friends after her boyfriend Andrew Moore shared the news, external of her death on her TikTok page.

The family are currently in the process of setting up 'Leah's Little Sunflowers' - a community interest company, to help other families going through cancer.

Ms Smith said working on Leah's Little Sunflowers is keeping the family busy.

She said: "We have good days and bad days.

"Some days it can be a little daunting, but we go back to our messages and the followers and we are like, 'Oh, right, let's go, they are waiting.'"

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV world : 'A town killer': People's fear over steel job losses
NEXT world : Harte 'hugely disappointed' as Derry's season peters out