She has been close to death twice in her life but teenager Monique Newton has overcome her difficult past to become one of Britain’s Olympic hopefuls.

Female, naked, from the back

19 year-old Monique suffered brain cancer as a child, and then went on to survive an attempted painkiller overdose when she had a rough patch aged 15.

The Londoner has triumphed over adversity as she is now set to become a world champion power-lifter and is anticipated to be a great success at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Monique weighs just 48kg (7st 8lb) but can lift three times her bodyweight above her head. The athlete can currently be seen on billboards as part of Adidas’ ‘London – take the stage’ campaign, as well as in a documentary video about her progress since cancer and depression.

Monique hails from Fulham and was diagnosed with ganglio neuroblastoma when she was three. The disease progressed to stage four, the most serious stage of cancer, and her family was told that she would be unable to walk within a year, and wouldn’t live beyond two years.

Months of taxing chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed and miraculously, Monique survived.

Despite her health returning, Monique’s struggles were not over. In her early teens she fell in with the wrong crowd, argued with her parents, and ended up leaving home aged just 15.

Isolated and clinically depressed, Monique took an overdose of over the counter painkillers.

Luckily she was found soon, rushed to hospital and had her stomach pumped.

At last Monique overcame her depression, went to college and started work as an engineer.

Read about what happened next in part two of From Brain Cancer to Weightlifting Medals: Inspiration!