LAURA Martin-Brooks will be flying the flag for the Fylde coast when she takes part in the semi-final of Miss Teen GB.
The pretty 16-year-old, from Thornton, entered the beauty contest after seeing a story in Eve.
It is the first time the contest, for 13 to 18-year-olds, has been held.
Organisers of the competition say they strongly believe in “real models.”
If Laura, a pupil at Hodgson High, made it through to the grand final, she would be in with a chance of winning £1,000 and other prizes.
She said: “I am so excited to make it through to the semi-final, I feel really lucky to have made it this far.
“It was really nice to find out about this, especially after the last couple of years.
“This is something I have always thought about – doing modelling or competitions – so it means a lot.
“Making it to the grand final would be amazing. Fingers crossed, I will be able to represent my home town actually in Blackpool, and win the Miss Teen Great Britain crown.”
Laura’s beautiful and happy smile belies a tough past two years.
She has been in and out of hospital after suffering a series of seizures.
Doctors have as yet been unable to provide a definite diagnosis, but it is suspected Laura has suffered a condition called non-epileptic seizures.
She was a talented dancer – including in ballet – until she first became ill.
She has had to have time off school and still doesn’t do full days, which in her last year of school, with exams coming up, has made things tough.
Mum Tracey said: “She was really excited when she heard she had got through to the semi-final and I am really pleased for her. It has been a tough couple of years of Laura, with her being in and out of hospital.
“It’s been awful for her with the seizures. She is a bit better now but she has had to keep having time off school.
“At first they thought it was epilepsy, but after a lot of tests, it’s still not 100 per cent what it is.
“They think it is something called non epileptic seizures.
“It’s quite complicated.
“But she doesn’t let it stop her. She just keeps going.
“So after how poorly she has been, this really means a lot to her.”
If Laura makes it through the grand final, she will compete against the other-finalists in a special event in September, at the Globe Theatre, at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.