A teenage girl who thought she was just lazy has overcome leukaemia after recognising her lethargic symptoms in a character in a Cameron Diaz film.
Alex Cooper, 17, was stunned after she noticed she was suffering the same symptoms as a character dying from cancer while watching the film 'My Sister's Keeper'.
The film is about a young girl who is brought into the world to be a genetic match for her older sister, who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukaemia.
Alex had been suffering fatigue, numerous headaches, her stomach had swollen and she noticed bruises appearing all over her body.
She had originally put her symptoms down to being a "lazy teenager" and didn't tell anyone because she was worried about "making a fuss".
But thanks to the information in the film the academically-gifted teenager, who is aiming to study at Cambridge, finally realised she needed to see a specialist.
Alex, of Bredgar, Kent, went to see her GP in October 2010 and was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) three days later and immediately began a gruelling course of chemotherapy.
Medics have now told Alex she is in remission after two years of taking powerful chemotherapy drug Dasatinib - and her condition is now manageable.
But amazingly, Alex yesterday admitted she may never have caught the cancer in time if she hadn't sat down to watch the movie.
Alex said: "It was one of those surreal moments in life.
"I was watching the film and all of a sudden I realised I had the same symptoms.
"It was terrifying at first but I started to rationalise it and thought - I can't really be suffering from cancer.
"But I eventually went to my doctor and he sent for blood test straight away.
"When I was first told about the cancer I was in shock I thought it was the end.
"I just thought I am going to lose all my hair and just keep getting more and more ill.
"I suppose if it wasn't for the film I may not have got my diagnosis in time.
"When you watch something on screen it makes everything much more real.
"I guess I am just really lucky to have watched it.
"However, I can't bring myself to see it again it is too upsetting - I have hidden it under my bed."
Alex sat down to watch the film to enjoy a "girly evening" on her own.
Three weeks later she went to see her GP who instantly spotted the warning signs and sent her for blood tests.
Medics found she had a white blood cell count of 490,000 while the average is just 4,000 and immediately diagnosed her with Leukaemia.
But she was told her chances of survival were much higher, thanks to spotting it early.
Left untreated her health would have rapidly deteriorated and she could have died in less than a year.
Only 600 people a year are diagnosed with CML and it is extremely rare in teenagers and children - particularly in girls.
It causes an unusual amount of a white blood cell call granulocyte to form in the blood and over time the cells collect in the spleen causing it to enlarge.
They then form in the bone marrow reducing the number of normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets that are made.
Alex, who lives with her dad Ben, 41, a carpenter, step mum Em, 39, a freelance photographer and younger brother Toby, six, is currently in her first year of A-levels studying English, Maths, Art and Psychology.
She plans to go onto University and continue in her loving relationship with boyfriend Zac Evans, 18, who she has been dating for a year and a half.
Alex added: "I just try to get on with my life -there is no point on dwelling on the cancer or wallowing in pity.
"I can now go out with my friends and do the things a normal teenager does.
"My boyfriend is great, we don't really talk about it but I know if I ever needed to he would be there for me.
"I just hope to live a normal life and look forward to the future."
Alex has joined forces with pal Nancy Devine, 14, who also suffers from cancer and the pair are fundraising for the Royal Marsden Hospital,