Meet our Little Stars
Last year, more than 600 children received a Little Star Award to recognise their courage after they were diagnosed with cancer. Meet some of our past winners:
Just two days after her first birthday, Georgia was diagnosed with a type of kidney cancer, called Wilms' tumour in August 2008.
Her cancer was discovered after mum Ruth noticed a lump when she was blowing raspberries on Georgia’s tummy. Hospital tests revealed she had a tumour the size of a football, but after six weeks of chemotherapy it shrank to the size of a satsuma.
Georgia then underwent keyhole surgery to remove the tumour followed by six months of chemotherapy. She also received three blood transfusions, one on Christmas Eve.
Georgia has now been in remission for more than four years. Her proud Mum Ruth says: “We feared her first birthday would be her last, but her courage and humour through numerous operations and the chemotherapy was simply inspirational.”
Parker, from Poulton-le-Fylde, Blackpool, who is an identical triplet, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2011 when he was four years old. He began an immediate course of chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission.
His identical triplet brothers, Reiss and Harrison, both undergo regular tests to ensure they are healthy as they each have a 20 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with leukaemia. Parker loves playing Xbox games, building Lego and watching Harry Potter movies.
His proud mum Tracy says: “All the way through Parker has never complained, nothing seems to faze him. He even helps his brother Harrison who has a mild form of cerebral palsy.”
Amarvir, who lives in Ilford, Essex, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in September 2010 and was so ill at one point it was touch and go whether he would survive. Just before he was diagnosed Amarvir collapsed one morning and was rushed to A&E where doctors realised his vital organs were shutting down one by one.
His devastated family were told he would have to go on a life support machine or he would die. Twelve hours later they were told Amarvir had leukaemia and if he made it through the next 24 hours he would survive.
“We couldn’t believe what we were hearing,” recalls Mum Nikki. Amarvir remained in hospital for the next four months but gradually responded well to his intensive chemotherapy treatment. He is now on maintenance treatment and doing well.
“We never take life for granted anymore,” says Nikki. “We owe Amarvir’s survival to the incredible advances that have been made in children’s cancer research.”
Four-year-old Bella, from Poole, in Dorset, (pictured with her granddad, Charles) was diagnosed with Clear Cell Sarcoma of the Kidney in June 2010 when she was two-and-a-half. Only around four children are diagnosed with this type of cancer in Britain each year.
Bella faced three operations – including 10 hours of surgery in which one of her kidneys was removed. A tumour weighing more than a kilogram was discovered during the surgery.
Mum Sian recalls: “Before the operation we had effectively said our good byes to Bella, remembering her wonderful laugh and her smile. There were so many risks involved –she could lose the use of her legs even if she did survive. Now I think about that wonderful feeling when the doctor came out to say she was going to be ok.”
Although she faced gruelling chemotherapy treatment, Bella is now in remission. “It’s wonderful to see her facing challenges in life with the same determination with which she beat cancer,” adds Sian.
Georgina was diagnosed with a type of kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumour just after her first birthday. She had a mass in her stomach and later tests showed she had tumours on both her kidneys.
After 12 weeks of chemotherapy, she needed to have surgery, followed by more chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She finished her treatment in January 2011.
Mum Julie said: “I think the Little Star Awards are fabulous – they help raise the awareness about childhood cancers and it was so nice for Georgina to get the trophy and certificate. The awards show the children how brave they are – each one is individual and each one is special.”
In November 2012 Mahad became unwell and was suffering with an extremely high temperature.
After numerous tests and several weeks in hospital he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He began chemotherapy treatment straight away and has had some infections as his immune system is low.
Dad Mohammed said: “Mahad really is brilliant – he doesn’t complain much and he is coping very well. He is so good and we really are very proud of him.”
Carena, was diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2006. She spent four months at Great Ormond St Hospital receiving intensive chemotherapy which left her very weak. She lost her long curly hair, but kept her spirit and sense of humour. The following year the leukaemia came back, but this time she also needed radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant and spent six months in hospital.
Carena is now in remission and is currently studying hair and beauty therapy. She hopes to realise her dream of becoming a beautician one day.
Carena says “When I lost my hair lots of people didn’t understand. The more awareness we can create together, the more money we can raise and the more cures we can find to beat this.”
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