A POOLE boy who was diagnosed with cancer on his sixth birthday has won a top award for his bravery.
Alfie Roberts has amazed his family with the courageous way he has faced the disease and gruelling treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May.
Now he has received a Little Star Award from Cancer Research UK, which recognises the courage shown by children who confront cancer.
His mum Clair, of Oakdale Road, said: “He has faced everything with no fuss and he seldom complains. He just got on with it and the courage and bravery he has shown at such a young age has amazed me. “I find it difficult to put into words how proud I am of him.
“He’s always smiling and has dealt with his illness in a remarkable, courageous manner.”
Earlier this year Clair noticed that Alfie was pale and out of sorts but thought it was a virus that many of the Roberts’ family had suffered.
Initially blood tests didn’t suggest anything sinister but his doctor sent him to hospital for tests.
Believing he was anaemic, Alfie had two blood transfusions as he went back and forward to the hospital.
He was eventually diagnosed with cancer on his sixth birthday and started intensive treatment the next day.
Clair, who also has a daughter Paige, 15, and son Wilson, 11, said Alfie was “really made up” about receiving the Little Star Award after being nominated by his proud grandmother Shirley Phillips and godmother Jane Chadwick.
Since undergoing treatment Alfie suffers mobility problems and has not been able to attend St Mary’s Catholic Combine School, in Poole, regularly.
His treatment will continue for another three years.
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Dorset, said: “Christmas is a time when all children deserve a little treat.
“I certainly hope Father Christmas knows Alfie has faced a terrible disease with amazing courage.”
Help research into this disease
Every month 11 children are diagnosed with cancer in the South West.
In the late 1960s fewer than three in 10 survived for at least five years – today that figure has risen to almost eight in 10.
By the end of 2012, around 33,000 long-term survivors of childhood cancer will be living in the UK, the vast majority of whom are cured.
Cancer Research UK is working towards a future where all children with cancer are cured. Despite improvements in treatment, around 250 children still lose their lives to the disease each year in the UK.
To donate to Cancer Research UK’s work into children’s cancers text ‘STAR58 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5 from your phone bill.
Text donations are free from any network and 100% of the donation will go to the charity.