Courageous Portsmouth schoolboy, five, launches Cancer Research awards after battle with leukaemia
A COURAGEOUS schoolboy who has spent the last three years battling leukaemia is helping recognise the courage of young people with cancer.
Five-year-old Aiden Smith was nominated for the Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People Star Awards by his parents Felicity and Nick, both 35, who live in Hilsea and work in the Royal Navy.
They described their son as ‘the bravest little person we have ever met’, and are now encouraging other families across the region to nominate their stars for the honour as Aiden is launching the awards.
Aiden, now a pupil at Gatcombe Park Primary School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia shortly before his second birthday.
Felicity said: ‘We were back and forth to the doctors as Aiden had a rash and he was sleeping a lot. The doctor thought it was an infection and the rash was his way of fighting it. We also noticed some bruising, but it was summertime, he was playing outside and you could put it down to that.’
Three weeks later and still poorly, a doctor referred Aiden to Queen Alexandra Hospital for urgent tests.
Felicity continued: ‘We were told that day he had leukaemia. As a parent you read about children being so poorly, but you think it always happens to someone else. I can’t think there is worse news to be told about your child.’
Aiden underwent three-and-a-half years of treatment - having chemotherapy which made him lose his hair.
Now, he is enjoying school and playing with his friends as well as becoming a big brother to baby Serenity who was born on January 19.
Felicity added: ‘Aiden has been incredible throughout – just amazing. It would take a lot, despite all the medicine and procedures, to make him lie down and be poorly.’
She added: ‘We are so very proud of him.’
The Star Awards, supported by TK Maxx, are open to all under-18s who have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years.
Everyone nominated receives a trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card, T-shirt and a certificate signed by a host of famous faces, including Dame Emma Thompson and music stars Una Healy and Aston Merrygold. Their siblings also receive a certificate.
To nominate a child for an award, visit cruk.org/childrenandyoungpeople.