Bravery award for little Millie

Leanne Hart with daughter Millie McKee, two, from Ince-in-Makerfield, Wigan, who has recovered from cancer
Leanne Hart with daughter Millie McKee, two, from Ince-in-Makerfield, Wigan, who has recovered from cancer

A WIGAN tot with leukaemia has been awarded for her bravery.

Two-year-old Millie McKee is one of hundreds of youngsters to be given a Cancer Research UK’s Kids & Teens Star Awards, used to give them a boost as they face adversity

It is a privilege to be able to recognise their courage with a Star Award and we would like to encourage anyone who knows an inspirational child to nominate them now

Jane Bullock

About 12 months ago, Millie, of Ince, became ill and started to limp slightly.

Her GP initially diagnosed irritable hip condition and a problem with her white blood count.

On New Year’s Eve her family received an urgent call asking them to attend Wigan Infirmary immediately.

She underwent a blood transfusion and was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

And 10 days later, mum Leanne and dad Stewart were devastated when Millie was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Millie was placed on an immediate course of chemotherapy, which made her feel ill, lose her hair and lose weight.

She also developed cellulitis and had to be fed through a tube.

Millie was in hospital from New Year’s Eve until the start of February when she was allowed to return home for a few days.

The chemotherapy finished in April, with check-ups every six weeks, meaning she is now able to enjoy playtime at the ABC Surestart Nursery in Ince.

Leanne, 27, said: “The past 12 months have been hard-going, but we remain incredibly proud of Millie. She has been an absolute trooper and tried to stay cheerful even when she was feeling very poorly. When she was initially diagnosed, the news was a huge shock. But we feel like we are coming through the other side now and are all looking forward to Christmas together.”

Cancer Research UK’s Kids & Teens Star Awards are open to all under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

Relatives and friends of young cancer patients or survivors who deserve special recognition are now being urged to nominate children in the run up to Christmas at www.cruk.org/kidsandteens.

This year the campaign is being spearheaded by footballer Wayne Rooney, as well as singer Emeli Sandé, Strictly Come Dancing stars Kevin and Karen Clifton, children’s TV presenters Justin Fletcher and Mister Maker, and TV pop group Go!Go!Go!

The awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, comes following news that the rate of children dying from cancer has dropped by almost a quarter (24 per cent) in the UK in the last decade.

Around 160 children in the region are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Jane Bullock, the charity’s spokesman for the North West, said: “Cancer has a devastating effect on youngsters.

“Treatment can last for months or even years, forcing children to show bravery beyond their years.

“It is a privilege to be able to recognise their courage with a Star Award and we would like to encourage anyone who knows an inspirational child to nominate them now.”