A TEENAGER received the surprise of her life when it was announced she will be an Olympic torchbearer.

Colchester Sixth Form College student Elodie Lafosse, 17, was among three people given the privilege through the Coca-Cola Future Flames competition.

Elodie, of Brook Street, Colne Engaine, has bravely coped with chronic fatigue syndrome and the death of her sister Juliette, five, from leukaemia.

She, mum Geves, dad Stephane, and siblings Raphi, 10, Celeste, eight, and Pierre, 12, have raised thousands for children’s cancer charities since Juliette’s death in 2002.

Elodie was presented with the Olympic torch by chart-topping boy band the Wanted.

Geves took Elodie to London on the premise of seeing a show. Elodie said: “In Carnaby Street, a couple of weird things happened. People gave me a scarf and body-popping dancers gave me a rose – I thought it might just be a lucky day and didn’t really suspect anything. It was all a little too strange, but the Olympic torch didn’t cross my mind.”

Elodie said she could not stop shaking when told she had won. She said: “It felt like a dream come true. I just want to make everyone proud.

“I would like to think all bereaved children can relate to me and think ‘if she can do something amazing, which is what she loves to do, then why can’t I?’ “When Juliette was in hospital it saddened me to think she didn’t have the opportunities I did because I wasn’t ill.

“I also have a cousin who is severely brain damaged. Whenever he visits he puts on music and dances for hours. These are just two of the reasons why I would love to teach disabled children.”

Elodie taught ballet and modern dance to three to 10-year-olds once a week for three years, but has had to cut back due to her illness. She spent most of April to August ill in bed, but is now studying for A-levels.

Her mum said: “We are so proud and pleased for her because it’s come at the end of a horrible year.”