King’s Lynn schoolboy receives top award for bravery as he fights cancer
06:03 24 December 2012
Steven Gerrard, Mo Farah and JLS all sign certificate for nine-year-old Daniel
A West Norfolk schoolboy who was diagnosed with cancer on his ninth birthday has received a national award for his courage.
Daniel Blackshaw, of King’s Lynn, was planning to go on an ice-skating trip with friends for his birthday treat in August this year.
But instead he was sent to hospital only to be told he would need 30 weeks of chemotherapy and major surgery to replace a large part of his thigh bone and knee.
But despite the tough treatment, the Harpley Primary School pupil has not lost his sense of humour and has continued to sparkle throughout.
His determination and courage prompted his mum Trudie to nominate him for a Little Star Award which was launched in November by the Cancer Research Trust in partnership with retailer TK Maxx.
The awards are designed to recognise the bravery of youngsters dealing with cancer and Daniel has received a chrome star trophy and a certificate signed by celebrities including Olympian Mo Farah, footballer Steven Gerrard and members of chart-topping JLS.
“Daniel is the most remarkable little boy. Throughout his treatment he has remained calm and cheerful and been incredibly brave. No matter what is thrown at him, he still cares about how other people are feeling,” said his proud mum.
Doctors discovered Daniel had a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after he hit his right knee in a playground accident. Around 30 children a year are diagnosed with the same type of cancer in the UK.
“He was still complaining about the pain a week later, but he wanted to do his sports day races so he hobbled round. We took him back to the doctors and he was sent for an X-ray. That’s when they told us they thought he had a tumour on his leg.
“It was hideous and I just remember feeling sick. It still doesn’t feel real now,” said his mum.
Daniel underwent surgery to removed the tumour in November when his thigh bone was replace with a prosthesis and he was also given a new knee.
He will undergo a further 20 weeks of chemotherapy and his prosthetic thigh bone will be stretched by remote control to keep up with his growth.
“We are all so very proud of his quiet determination to get on with it no matter how scary. He and I have spent a lot of time in hospital together and he always tries to find a positive in everything, no matter how sick he is feeling.
“That’s why I nominated him for a Little Star Award. Anything I can do that will bring a smile to his face, I will gladly do because he deserves it,” added his mum.
Last year 25 children in the East of England were given a Little Star Award which has no judging panel as the charity believes all children facing cancer deserve a treat.
Recipients are sent the unique trophy, a £50 gift card for TK Maxx and a certificate signed by the celebrities.
“Every child diagnosed with cancer goes through such a battle and their strength is incredible. These awards help to brighten the lives of the children and their families who are all affected by cancer, as well as highlighting the research that is continuing to make progress in the fight against children’s cancers,” said Steven Gerard.