Brave St Albans boy celebrates Christmas without cancer
CHRISTMAS will be an extra special time this year for one St Albans household where a toddler will also be celebrating the end of his gruelling cancer treatment with his family.
Enda Walker spent last year’s festive season in hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy for a rare condition which left him unable to walk for a year but things couldn’t be more different leading up to Christmas 2010.
This year he will be running around like any other three-year-old while his parents Martina and Johnny marvel at his amazing fighting spirit.
Now Enda, from Drakes Drive, has also had his courage recognised by a national charity after he was nominated for a Cancer Research UK Little Star Award by his proud parents.
The annual awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, acknowledge the unique challenges faced by youngsters who encounter cancer.
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Enda, who attends SS Alban and Stephen Nursery, was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis in February last year having been ill for several months and started treatment within a matter of weeks.
But further treatment was needed and Enda spent last Christmas in hospital during several months of intensive chemotherapy treatment.
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The youngster, who has an older brother Callum, 12, who attends Beaumont Secondary School, finished his treatment last month and he is progressing well.
His mum said: “We nominated Enda because he has been through such a tough time over the last two years. We are very lucky to have him. He has been so brave and such a fighter. He was such a sick little boy but he always had a smile for everyone, even though he could not tell us how he was feeling. How can we know what any of these kiddies who are battling cancer go through?”
She continued: “He spent a year of his life in a hospital bed not able to walk. He suffered a lot of infections but he just got on with things. He is quite stubborn and headstrong, but it is just as well he is a fighter or he would not have got through it.
“Since he left hospital in March he turned a corner and he has come on in leaps and bounds. We think he is amazing. I think he is such a brave little boy and is a star to us. We love him deeply”.
Helen Johnstone, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Enda’s very moving story is a perfect example of why children who battle cancer deserve to have their courage recognised”.
In the UK around 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the late 1960s, less than three out of 10 children with the disease survived beyond five years but today, that figure is almost eight out of 10.
Cancer Research UK is the UK’s largest single funder of research into children’s cancer and TK Maxx has already raised a staggering �9 million to help fund research.
The charity wants anyone who knows other brave under-18s who are currently battling cancer, or have undergone treatment for the disease in the past five years, to nominate them for a Little Star Award.
As well as the star-shaped trophy, each Little Star receives a �50 TK Maxx gift card and certificate signed by celebrities including chart-toppers Rihanna, Leona Lewis and the Jonas Brothers, as well as Manchester United and Arsenal stars Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas and Formula 1 ace Jenson Button.
Each and every child nominated will receive the accolade and their siblings will also receive a special certificate in recognition of the support they give.
For more information about the Little Star Awards visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org/littlestar