Two-year-old girl launches cancer awards scheme

Amelia topa who had leukaemia as a newborn launches cancer research uk for children  young people star awards (1)

Amelia Topa is in remission from leukaemia after a stem cell transplant. 

27th November 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A young girl has been chosen to launch a national awards scheme that recognises the courage of children with cancer.

Amelia Topa, who turned two this week, is in remission from leukaemia after having a stem cell transplant using a newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood which was specially flown in from America.

Now doing well, Amelia has received a Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People Star Award in recognition of the remarkable courage she has shown since being diagnosed with cancer.

Amelia’s parents, Kerri Paton, 23, and Igor Topa, 24, of Turriff, Aberdeenshire, say they are hugely proud of their little girl.

Kerri said: “Anyone who meets Amelia would agree that she’s a star. Being told your child has cancer is the worst sentence any parent could ever hear. I felt mad at first that someone so tiny should have to go through this horrible disease.

“But Amelia has been a little fighter from the day she was born. I have felt amazed by her strength and lucky to have good support from friends, family and hospital staff.

“We will forever be grateful to a family in America we’ll probably never get a chance to meet. The stem cells from America looked just like a small bag of blood but they had the power to make Amelia well again.”

Around 140 children are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland every year. Cancer Research UK’s research has helped transform survival for children’s cancers, which overall has more than doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.

 

The Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People Star Awards are open to all under-18s who currently have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years. There is no judging panel because every child diagnosed with cancer deserves special recognition.

Everyone nominated receives a trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card, t-shirt and a certificate signed by a host of famous faces, including Dame Emma Thompson, This Morning’s Dr Ranj and children’s favourite entertainer Mister Maker. 

The charity is now encouraging families across Scotland to nominate their stars for the honour in the run up to Christmas.

Lisa Adams, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People in Scotland, said: “Our Star Awards, supported by TK Maxx, shine an important light on children and young people with cancer.

“We know that a cancer diagnosis is devastating at any age, but that it can be particularly difficult for a child or young person and their families. That’s why we’re calling on families across Scotland to nominate inspirational youngsters for an award so that we can recognise their incredible courage.”