By Orla McNicholl

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a County Derry teenager who passed away on Thursday after losing her battle with cancer.

Greysteel teen Leah Whyte had been diagnosed with Paediatric Myelodysplasia – a very rare cancer of the bone marrow – in April last year.

In August, Leah’s younger brother Simon donated his bone marrow to the Limavady High student.

Last night, as news broke of the 16 year-old’s death, tributes came pouring into her Facebook page.

One friend wrote: “Rest in peace Leah!  One of the most beautiful, happy, positive and caring girls I have ever met!  Such an inspiration and encouragement!  Thinking on all the family!”

Another schoolmate paid tribute by writing: “RIP.  Thoughts are with your friends, family and your boyfriend. You were such an inspiration.  Heaven gained another angel.  I love you.”

Last night a YouTube video, which was created in Leah’s memory, had received over 9,000 hits.

Sinn Féin councillor Dermot Nicholl, who lives in Greysteel, said the close-knit community was shocked to learn of the bright teenager’s death.

“My thoughts are with the family at this sad time,” said Councillor Nicholl.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s County Derry Post.

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