An inspirational Ilkeston teenager who is battling cancer has been picked from hundreds of brave youngsters to win a national award.
Alex Read, 14,was diagnosed with cancer on New Year’s Day 2013 and it resulted in him having an arm amputated just months later.
But he has shown remarkable courage which has helped his whole family cope with his condition – and amazed doctors, teachers and friends with his strength and willpower.
He was nominated for the Inspirational Young Person award in the prestigious, national 2013 WellChild Awards by his older sister Eleanor.
She said: “My brother is caring, courageous and very special.
“He has a long and difficult journey to travel but he continues to surprise us with his determination.
“He really is a true star!”
The Saint John Houghton Academy student was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer.
After his tumour failed to respond to intensive chemotherapy, he underwent major surgery in April to remove his right arm and shoulder.
Always more concerned for others than himself, he insisted on personally breaking the bad news to his school friends the day before his operation and is currently teaching himself to play guitar one-handed.
Alex will be one of the stars of the show when he heads to the London awards ceremony, which celebrates the courage of children coping with serious illnesses.
The star-studded event on Spetember 11 in London features WellChild patron Prince Harry, rock legend Rod Steward, comedian Russell Howard and pop singer Pixie Lott.
With hundreds of nominations received from across the country, the difficult job of choosing winners in all WellChild Award categories is given to an esteemed panel of judges. That panel consists of leading health professionals and others with an interest in children’s health.