BATTLING an illness as powerful as Crohn’s from a young age can be an immense uphill struggle.
A long-term disease, Crohn’s inflames the lining of the digestive system, causing intense cramps, bleeding and fatigue.
It’s enough to put anyone out of action – but 12-year-old Abigail Webber refuses to be stopped by her illness.
The Gosport youngster was named the town’s Young Citizen of the Year earlier this week, for her incredible charity work and determination to make Crohn’s more well-known in the borough.
Abigail has taken part in countless charity events in the past 12 months, fundraising for good causes across the surrounding area – including Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign.
On top of that, she is now looking to set up a group for young people in Gosport who have Crohn’s to meet each other and become friends.
The Gosport youngster was presented with the award at the mayor-making ceremony at Thorngate Halls on Wednesday, May 15.
She said: ‘When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease I didn’t really understand what it meant.
‘I’m lucky that I have such a supportive family, but sometimes I do feel quite lonely.
‘Not all disabilities are visible, so I thought there must be other children like me – I tried to find a group I could join and there wasn’t one, so I decided I should set up my own.’
Abigail also spent last Christmas Eve delivering mince pies and Christmas carols to hospital patients.
Giving other people a helping hand is something that she holds close to her heart, but she is still very grateful to be recognised with an award.
Her goal is to show that children can make a difference in the world, ‘no matter how big or small they are.’
It’s this remarkable attitude in the face of a powerful illness that won over those who pick the winner of the annual award, as well as newly-appointed mayor of Gosport, Cllr Kathleen Jones.
She said: ‘Abigail’s love of helping others isn’t just for Gosport – she’s known to ask if she can help at any event she can, and is always keen to make a difference.
‘Despite repeated stays in hospital, she always has a smile on her face; Abigail has the natural gift of being a happy and friendly person.
‘She's an amazing young lady for the town to be proud of.’