Brave Brogan is given a Star Award for her courage in battling cancer

Six-year-old Brogan Didwell with her Cancer Research UK Little Star Award.

Six-year-old Brogan Didwell with her Cancer Research UK Little Star Award. - Credit: submitted

An inspiring little star who is always bubbly and smiling despite having to endure treatment for cancer has been given a special award for her bravery.

Six-year-old Brogan Didwell, from Norwich, has received a national Cancer Research UK Little Star Award after she was nominated by her mum Sarah Didwell for her courage in battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The youngster was diagnosed with the condition in June after becoming generally unwell and developing pains in her legs.

Her treatment began immediately and ever since Brogan has been a true star for the way she is always cheerful despite everything she is going through.

Mrs Didwell said: 'She has got this amazing smile and it just cheers you up to look at her. She was very excited to get a Little Star award and particularly loves the teddy which sits by her bed and smiles at her.'


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Both Mrs Didwell and her husband James believe their daughter's life may have been saved by the sudden illness of her nine-year-old brother Faron, whose total loss of sight in one eye due to a virus prevented the family from going on holiday to Greece in soaring temperatures – a climate which could have proved fatal to his then undiagnosed sister.

'Brogan had cancer but wasn't showing any symptoms when Faron suddenly lost his sight,' said Mrs Didwell.

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'Obviously we were extremely worried about Faron, but in fact his virus cleared up and he regained his sight quite quickly.

'It meant we cancelled a planned holiday to Greece, and went on holiday to Suffolk instead.

'That turned out to be a godsend because it was when we were in Suffolk that Brogan became really poorly. If we had been in Greece in extreme heat it could have been fatal for her.'

Brogan was initially diagnosed with a throat infection but her mum insisted on a blood test because she was sure something more serious was wrong.

It was then that Mr and Mrs Didwell were told their daughter had cancer.

The family was sent to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, for bone marrow tests and a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was made.

Mrs Didwell said: 'It was a massive shock.

'You never imagine being told your child has cancer.'

Brogan's treatment has included an intensive course of chemotherapy and despite a lengthy stay in hospital due to an infection, she remained bubbly and resilient, amazing the staff by insisting on going to the hospital school instead of staying in bed.

Mrs Didwell said: 'Brogan loves singing and she had all the staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital singing along to Abba songs.

'They can't wait to see her and last time we went in they had printed off all the lyrics so they could sing along with her.'

For her Little Star award Brogan has received a star trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card and a certificate.

Her brothers Faron, nine, and Tyler, 12, have also been given certificates in recognition of the support they have given their sister.

Brogan's family, from Morse Road in Thorpe Hamlet, are keen to see other children with cancer receive a Little Star award to give them a much-needed boost.

The Cancer Research UK's Little Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, celebrate the courage of all children who have had cancer and are backed by famous faces including pop stars Emeli Sandé and Beverley Knight and England footballers Kyle Walker, James Milner and Leighton Baines.

The awards are open to all under- 18s who have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

To nominate a child visit www.cruk.org/littlestar or call 0845 600 4015

For more about Cancer Research UK visit www.cancerresearchuk.org or follow the charity on Twitter.

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