THE CORNELL CENTRE CHILD OF COURAGE AWARD
This award recognises and rewards the achievement of deserving children who overcome adversity
Our Child of Courage for 2015 is AIDEN MITCHELL from Witham.
His parents call him ‘Amazing Aiden’, which is not surprising because he has always been a miracle child. Aiden was an IVF baby born just seventeen months ago which makes him the youngest child ever to get this award. He was not expected to survive as he did not take his first breath for a massive 28 minutes. He was urgently transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital where he received groundbreaking cooling treatment for 72 hours. Additionally his parents Keith and Fleur consented to Aiden being involved in a research project looking into brain seizures. On three occasions Aiden had to wear a special cap, which measured blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. He was a pioneer.
The Action Medical Trust that funded the cooling treatment asked if he could be the face of their 2014 Christmas appeal…with Aiden’s help they raised over £13,000.
Aiden needs additional physio to that given by the NHS so his parents took him to Brainwave at Witham. They noticed improvements from him almost immediately so actively got involved with fundraising ...which so far this year has brought in £9,000.
No wonder we refer to him as a miracle child. Altogether Aiden has helped to raise twenty five thousand pounds for various charities and another £5,500 to enable him to go to America for further specialist treatment where we hope the miracle will continue.
Highly Commended Child of Courage Joe Sims is from Harlow. Joe was nominated by his teacher Miss Helen Roper at Burnt Mill Academy. She told us that shortly before Joe, then aged 15, was due to take his exams, a cancerous lump was discovered on his neck. Joe refused to take any time off school, as he did not want an excuse for falling behind. He did not want to be known as the boy with cancer. He underwent what was, thankfully, a successful operation just before sitting his exams. He admitted to being nervous and felt he could have done better. He needn't have worried .... he achieved nine straight 'A' star results, comfortably gaining a place in the 6th form.
Joe still has treatment to undergo, but insists it takes place at 5pm so not to miss any time away from the 6th form. As deputy Head Boy, Joe wants to come back into school under the 'Teachers for tomorrow scheme' supporting the younger children.
Highly Commended Chelsie Moore-Copp used to live in London but sadly could no longer live there due to her Mum suffering a major problem - she was an alcoholic. Chelsie had to start a fresh life, moving to Clacton and changing schools. At first Chelsie kept her past a secret but decided after much soul searching to tell her story. She entered a public speaking competition at school with a speech entitled 'A family illness'. Her speech, spoken from the heart moved everyone, pupils and parents alike. As a result Chelsie has become a peer mentor for a new alcoholic support group for students who live with alcoholism in their family. Her nominator teacher Joanna Blagrove says "Her level of courage is immeasurable. She reaches her peers where an adult may not and touches their lives with a strong message - you are not alone."
Highly Commended 9 year old Timmy Shipton was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma just over a year ago. The tumour on his rib caused him pain and restricted his breathing. Throughout his surgery and treatment Timmy continued to support his local cricket and football teams, training and playing whenever he was able. Essex Cricket Club were so impressed that they joined in the fundraising at Maylandsea Primary School and even invited Timmy as their guest to the Chelmsford Cricket Ground. He has worked hard to promoted the cancer charity 'CLIC Sargent' even making a film shown in his school fund raising day. His nominator teavher Anna Farn says "He has been a true inspiration to the whole community and deserves the recognition for his courage."
Highly Commended Maisy Kidd-Munnery from Harwich is a brave girl who has had a really difficult time during her eleven years. Following a very worrying pregnancy and birth she weighed only 2lb 2oz. Two weeks later a routine ultrasound revealed that she had suffered 2 bilateral bleeds of the brain. It was touch and go but Maisy continued to amaze despite severe jaundice and 3 blood transfusions. When allowed home her parents noticed a lack of vision. An examination revealed Maisy was blind. Seizures began at 9 weeks, sometimes as many as 200 a day! It was eventually discovered that she also has cerebral palsy affecting all 4 limbs. Maisy enjoys life and is able to communicate that to her parents and sister and she is one of the few girls her age to have had a cuddle from Olly Murs!