Girl, 19, who battled back from brain cancer and suicide attempt hopes powerlift her way to Olympic goldMonique Newton, 19, suffered ganglio neuroblastoma cancer as a child and took an overdose in her teens
The London-born athlete weighs just 7st 8lb but can lift three times her bodyweight



10:16 GMT, 19 April 2012

A teenage girl who has twice been on the brink of death has overcome her troubled past to become one of Britain's Olympic hopes.

Monique Newton, 19, battled brain cancer when she was a child, then went on to survive an attempted overdose at the age of 15.

Now the London-born athlete has triumphed over adversity to become a world champion power-lifter and is tipped for success at this summer's Olympic Games.

Fighting fit: Monique Newton battled back from brain cancer and a suicide attempt to become one of the world's best powerlifters

Fighting fit: Monique Newton battled back from brain cancer and a suicide attempt to become one of the world's best powerlifters

At just 48kg (7st 8lb), the petite teenager, who can currently seen on billboards as part of adidas' 'London – take the stage' campaign, can lift the equivalent of three times her bodyweight above her head.

Monique, from Fulham, was diagnosed with ganglio neuroblastoma at the age of three. The disease reached stage four, the most serious stage, and her family was informed that she would be confined to a wheelchair within a year, and dead within two.

Months of debilitating chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed – and against all odds, Monique survived.

But after battling back to health, Monique's struggles were not over. As a teenager, she fell in with the wrong crowd, and following arguments with her parents, she left home aged just 15.

Suffering from depression and isolated from her family, Monique took an overdose of paracetamol.

Fortunately she was discovered in time and was rushed to hospital to have her stomach pumped.

After finally conquering her depression, Monique went to college and found work as an engineer.

Her ordered new life gave her the space to take up powerlifting – and she found she excelled at the sport.

'I took up powerlifting because I wanted to do something where I would be the underdog and have to push myself to get to the top,' she told Metro.

Monique has now won twice at the British and world powerlifting championships, and has triumphed at 18 of her 19 tournaments to far, including a second world championship in Latvia.

Although she is now fighting fit,
Monique says her family still see her as the delicate girl she once was.
'The other day, when I was helping my aunt carry her shopping home, she
didn't even want me to carry some of the bags – she thought they would be too heavy for me' .

'It makes me feel happy to know I can use my story to help people who are or will be in a similar situation,' she said.

'Now I look back I'm so glad I am still here today,' she added.