A TALENTED singer and drama teacher, finally given the all-clear after battling a rare type of cancer has been chosen as the face of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign in Wales.

Natalia Davies, of Barry is celebrating a major recovery milestone after being discharged as a cancer patient – 16 years on from diagnosis.

The 23-year-old, who dreams of performing on the West End, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia a month before her fifth birthday after experiencing flu-like symptoms and bruising on her body.

Around 650 people are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia each year in the UK and it is the most common type of childhood leukaemia.

Ms Davies raises money for good causes through her singing.

She said: “If it wasn’t for research, medication and support, I can without doubt say I would not be here today. I am 16 years cancer free and in my first year of being discharged from hospital.”

She missed a year of school, had chemotherapy for two years and lost her hair.

“It was so hard losing my hair,” she said. “I think that’s what upset me the most. I remember a boy asking why I was wearing a skirt as he thought I was a boy.”

Now her treatment is over, she is determined to make every moment count – including becoming a teacher.

She said: “It’s taken a long time for that chapter in my life to close and I can’t wait to live my life now without having to worry. I feel incredibly lucky to be here and I’m now excited about starting my new job in September.”

Her experience is driving her to back Cancer Research UK’s ‘Right Now’ campaign and call on people in Wales to get involved.

The charity’s powerful and emotive ‘Right Now’ TV ads show real patients undergoing cancer treatment within the last few years, followed up by current home video showing how research has helped them get back to enjoying life with their loved ones.

Her home video shows her singing one of her favourite songs from the musical Miss Saigon.

She hopes to draw attention to the impact cancer research has had on her own life – giving her more precious time with the people she loves.

She said: “The‘Right Now’ campaign captures the experience of so many families like mine. Cancer affects us all - not just the person diagnosed, but also their loved ones.”

Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Wales, Ruth Amies, added: “There are so many ways to show your support here in Wales. From signing up to Race for Life, donating items to one of our shops or giving time to volunteer.

“Every action makes a difference and money raised helps to support Cancer Research UK’s vital work.”

To support, visit cruk.org