Award for schoolboy who smiled through pain

LITTLE Sam Sharp is known for his smiling.

Tom Potter

LITTLE Sam Sharp is known for his smiling.

So it might come as something of a surprise to learn that the brave Suffolk schoolboy has had to fight cancer.

But now, to mark his bravery, he has been invited to a special award ceremony to salute the courage of all children who are diagnosed with the disease and this weekend will be guest of honour at the Little Star Awards party at London Zoo.

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Seven-year-old Sam, from Mildenhall, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of four and underwent a lengthy course of chemotherapy which ended in August last year.

During his treatment Sam suffered recurring infections, contracting both pneumonia and shingles three times.

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At one stage his parents thought they might lose him to the illness but Sam kept smiling and impressed nurses so much with his bravery that he even starred in a special video to show other children how to cope with some of the more distressing aspects of the treatment.

In January this year Sam was awarded a Little Star Award by Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx, receiving a special trophy, a �100 TK Maxx voucher and a certificate signed by celebrities including Leona Lewis and Lewis Hamilton.

Now Sam has been selected to attend the special party which will see 25 children from across the UK come together as ambassadors to represent the 300 children who received awards during the year.

Proud mum Sarah said: “Sam's been through so much, it's lovely for him to be recognised in this way. “We're so proud of him and we're all really excited about going to the zoo party.”

Mrs Sharp was caring for Sam's five week old sister, Jessica, when he was diagnosed with the illness. She received news that her son had leukaemia while her husband, Lee, was in theatre having minor surgery on his nose.

“Lee awoke from the anaesthetic to find his parents at his bedside telling him Sam had leukaemia,” said Mrs Sharp. “He was on his feet in no time. I doubt if anyone has ever recovered more quickly from an operation!”

The annual Little Star Awards will be opening for nominations again in November 2009. For more information about the Together for Kids Fund visit

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