A tribute to all our town’s little stars

Aimee Gaynor
Aimee Gaynor

A WIGAN youngster who was diagnosed with leukaemia aged just two is launching a scheme to celebrate the bravery of other children with cancer.

Nine-year-old Aimee Gaynor, who is now in remission after she battled acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was just a tot will be the face of this year’s Cancer Research UK Little Star awards.

The awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, acknowledge the unique challenges faced by youngsters struck down by cancer.

There is no judging panel, so all nominees get a unique trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card and a certificate signed by celebrities.

Aimee, of Tyldesley, became poorly in 2005 when she developed abscesses in her mouth, as well as bruises on her legs and started to limp.

She became so anaemic that she was rushed to the Royal Bolton Hospital for emergency blood transfusions.

She was then diagnosed with leukaemia and started two years of gruelling chemotherapy treatment at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Brave Aimee had to cope with losing the ability to walk and suffered secondary infections, including pneumonia.

Even when Aimee had completed her treatment, she faced an uphill battle after breaking her leg completely in two while playing in a ball pool. She spent a further four weeks in hospital, underwent more physiotherapy and had to learn to walk once again.

The St George’s Central Primary School pupil received a Cancer Research UK Little Star award last year and her parents are now urging other families to nominate a child in the run-up to Christmas.

Mum Karen Gaynor, 44, said: “Aimee endured years of gruelling treatment with the courage of a lion.

“In her short life, Aimee has fought cancer, broken the largest bone in the body, missed out on nursery and the best part of a year at school, battled co-ordination problems, struggled to hold a pen, but has still become a wonderful, energetic, beautiful, kind, noisy, happy and - most importantly - normal school child. She is a fabulous human being.”

The Little Star Awards are open to all under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

To nominate a Little Star visit cruk.org/littlestar

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 and all of the donation will go to the charity.