A BRAVE nine-year-old Rugby girl is lighting the way for children with cancer to be recognised for their courage.
Libby Berridge, from Lilbourne, was honoured with a Cancer Research UK Little Star award in recognition of her arduous battle against leukaemia.
Despite having to undergo two and a half years of treatment that at times has left her ‘in agony’, Libby is now on the road to recovery and her family are keen to see more children receive the award.
Libby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in October 2012 at the age of seven after collapsing at her parents’ farm in Lilbourne.
Mum Samantha Berridge said: “We were out walking on our farm and Libby just collapsed on the floor, she was clutching her chest and saying she couldn’t breathe. I honestly thought she was having a heart attack; I was terrified.
“It was very hard on the entire family. Libby’s initial treatment caused her to become diabetic and, as well as everything else, she had to inject herself each day.”
Libby then began an intensive course of chemotherapy treatment, which at times left her “in agony, convinced she was going to die”.
Libby is now undergoing ‘maintenance’ treatment, which will finish in April.
Sam added: “Libby has been through so much over the past couple of years; her body is so sensitive and at times treatment has had to be stopped because she has been too ill or not been able to tolerate it, so it has taken a very long time.
“But slowly we are getting there and it now feels that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Despite having such an awful time, Libby has remained extremely positive and thoroughly deserves her Little Star award.”
Relatives and friends of young cancer patients or survivors who deserve special recognition are being urged to nominate their Little Stars. Recipients get a unique trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card and a certificate signed by celebrities.
Jane Redman, the charity’s regional spokesperson, said: “The Little Star Awards are a wonderful way of raising awareness of the progress that is being made in the fight against children’s cancer and we would like to encourage anyone who knows an inspirational child like Libby to nominate them now.”
The awards are open to all under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years. Visit cruk.org/littlestar to nominate or donate.