Youngsters are an inspiration

Pride of Northumberland awards night at Linden Hall, Morpeth-Child of Courage award.'REF 1209137862
Pride of Northumberland awards night at Linden Hall, Morpeth-Child of Courage award.'REF 1209137862

Children who bravely smile through difficult situations were honoured with a Child of Courage Award.

Recognising the exceptional courage they have gone through in their lives, each of the four children shortlisted for the accolade were crowned winners.

Tragically one of the nominees, 13-month-old Roman Greenlees, from Berwick, passed away before the awards night took place. But his parents Rachael and Stuart collected the award in his memory.

Roman was diagnosed with Alper’s disease, an incredibly rare degenerative condition, shortly after he was born.

But despite his battles, he never stopped smiling.

He brought the community together and friends and family across the UK took part in non-stop fund-raising to get the equipment he needed to make his short life more comfortable.

Roman never stopped fighting and he stole the hearts of thousands of people around him. When comedian Jason Manford appeared at Berwick Maltings, he donated the takings to Roman’s cause.

Dad Stuart said: “We are just so proud of him and all his battling.

“It is nice to know that all the children who were nominated won an award.

“We will take the award to his grave and tell him that he has won.”

Three-year-old Leah Watson, from Stakeford, has LCH, a rare form of cancer. She had four lesions in her head and has undergone chemotherapy.

But nothing phases the beautiful little girl.

When she goes for treatment she doesn’t cry.

She is supported by her whole family, including her twin sister Lexie, and is a very brave little girl who always has a smile on her face.

Logan Coulson, five, from Gateshead, has hydrocephalus.

He was born a month premature. Doctors told his family that he would not be able to eat, speak, walk or even go to the toilet.

But Logan proved everyone wrong. He can talk, eat alone, use sign language and is in the middle of learning how to walk and he attends a mainstream primary school. He has the courage and strength to put the bad names to the back of his mind and to explain to all the other children why he is that way.

His dad Ben said: “I am speechless. It’s just amazing. He is a fantastic little boy and loves giving us the run around.

“He is just like any other five to six-year-old. Nothing phases him whatsoever.”

Leonie King, seven, from Cramlington, was born 10 weeks premature and was starved of oxygen at birth which has left her with multiple disabilities. She has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, cortical blindness, epilepsy and is fed by a peg into her stomach.

She requires 24-hour care for everything that a normal person takes for granted in everyday life and is wheelchair-bound.

When Leonie was born, she defied all medical expectations and actually survived many major setbacks.

No matter how much pain or discomfort she is in with muscle spasms, she wakes up every morning with a smile on her face and gets on with whatever life throws her way.

Leonie shows so much courage and determination every single day of her life and never complains.