A WOMAN has beaten her fear of radiotherapy by getting doctors to cover her cancer treatment vest with an image - of Sir Rod Stewart.

Rod superfan Joan Shard, 61, was diagnosed with cancer in her chest at the end of last year and had to undergo gruelling radiotherapy.

Before Joan started her treatment she was taken to a mould room where a fitted shell was created to keep her still during the radiotherapy.

While she was there Joan joked with medics asking if they could paint a portrait of her favourite singer on the shell.

And thanks to funding from Beatson Cancer Charity, one of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's clinical technologists, Hilary Sturrock, was able to paint an image of Rod.

She said the idea to get the portrait came from looking at the superhero masks kids had painted for the same reason.

Joan, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, said it helped her face three radiotherapy sessions a day for 12 consecutive days during December.

Joan said: "When I went into the mould room to be fitted for my shell, I saw all of the children's radiotherapy masks with their favourite superheroes painted on them.

"I said to one of the technicians, as a joke, that I wouldn’t mind if Rod Stewart was on my shell."

When Joan saw her shell again there was a portrait of the singer on it.

She added: "It was such a surprise. Hilary had painted a picture of Rod on it for me – it looked fantastic.

"I was so overwhelmed and couldn’t believe they had done this for me, and I do think it helped take some of the fear away.

"I’m Rod Stewart-daft - I’ve got cardboard cut-outs of him.

"I met him once in Glasgow years ago, when he was playing a charity football match.

"I couldn’t speak, but I managed to get his autograph."

Clinical technologist Hilary Sturrock says she is happy to have put a smile on Joan's face.

She said: "So far, the painted masks have mostly been for young children.

"I am thrilled when I get a request to paint an adult mask, as the theme can vary from tattoo designs to music icons.

"I hope I achieved a good likeness of Rod Stewart, as portraits are a challenge to paint on the masks and require intricate detail.

She added: "However, this was very enjoyable, and I was pleased with the result. I’m delighted this helped Joan through her treatment.

"If Rod sees this, I hope he’s happy with the likeness too."

Joan was treated at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, where she said the staff "were fantastic and made her feel at ease".

Hilary and her colleague Fiona McCulloch have also transformed several radiotherapy masks into superheroes and characters for younger patients to help combat their fear of treatment.

Therese Taylor, Beatson Cancer Charity funding manager, said: "We’re delighted to be able to fund such an incredible project that’s helping to make a positive difference to patients.

"The portrait of Rod is fantastic – I’m sure he’d approve."