THE FAMILY of a 21-year-old student who has lost her fight with cancer have paid tribute to an ‘incredible young woman with a heart of gold’.

Megan Elizabeth Fletcher, known by her nickname Meg or Megz, died after a 16-month battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Speaking from the family home in Wern, Bersham, her mum Fiona Fletcher, 47, said: “She loved life, she loved laughter, she loved energy, she loved friends and she loved family.

“She had a smile for everyone.”

Meg was born in Cumbria and then spent her early school years at Minera Primary School.

Her secondary education was in Dubai where her father Ian, 49, works in health and safety at oil and gas plant Dusup.

The family, including Meg’s sister Becky, 19, split their time between Bersham and Dubai where they also have a home.

Becky said Meg was “intelligent, smart and witty.”

Fiona now hopes to create a booklet of advice to those suffering with the type of cancer Meg had. She said: “We want young people to know about Meg’s journey and know what she stood for.”

Ian said: “Meg had cancer, but she never wanted cancer to define who she was.

“I am so proud of the way she approached life, always trying to do her best, which was important to her.”

Meg, who had many close friends and loved butterflies, fell ill on a Eurotrip adventure holiday in Austria in the summer of 2008 and had to return home.

Despite this, Meg started university at Plymouth in September of that year to study human biosciences.

It was in January 2009 that Meg was officially diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and told she would need six months of chemotherapy.

After the treatment a scan showed the cancer had grown.

Meg was forced to defer university and then had another intensive three months of chemotherapy, this time at the Shooting Star ward of the Wrexham Maelor hospital.

She had her final bout of chemotherapy at The Christie Hospital in Manchester but another scan before Christmas 2009 revealed Meg was chemotherapy-resistant.

This year Meg had radiotherapy but had numerous bouts of pneumonia and died on May 4 with her mother by her bedside.

Fiona said: “She asked me if she could go to sleep and I said yes. She died then.

“I don’t think Meg ever fully told of the pain and distress she was in.

“She was all about positivity and faith.”

Fiona said Meg even managed to go horse riding the week before she died.

She added: “Megan liked diving and basketball and she made friends wherever she went.

“She always said ‘my name is not cancer’ and she never lost her identity.

“She had such a vast influence on people’s lives. She wasn’t just my daughter, she was an incredible young woman and we’re all incredibly proud.

“The loss we feel is immeasurable. Every day for the rest of our lives will be a first day without Megan. She was our rock.”

Meg’s funeral was held at Pentrebychan Crematorium on May 14 and more than 250 people attended. More than £1,300 raised in Meg’s memory will be split between the Young Oncology Unit (YOU) at The Christie Hospital and cancer charity Macmillan.