Brave Kelsey launches Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Awards

Date published: 28 November 2018

A Royton teenager is launching an awards scheme that recognises the courage of children with cancer.

The Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, celebrate the strength shown by youngsters who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer.

Kelsey Shyne-Slater was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just six months old.

She was finally given the all-clear from cancer over the summer and rang the bell at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to celebrate such a momentous occasion.

Kelsey’s mum Melanie, now aged 42, had repeatedly visited the GP with Kelsey as a baby after finding lumps in her armpits and other parts of her body.

After the family were given the devastating diagnosis, Kelsey embarked on six gruelling months of chemotherapy before undergoing surgery to have the tumour removed.

At one point she weighed the equivalent of a bag of sugar.

Kelsey spent her first birthday in hospital and it was feared she might lose a kidney during surgery as it was so close to the tumour, but she made an amazing recovery and has helped to promote Cancer Research UK ever since.

Kelsey was nominated for the award when she was a baby by her mum.

Now Kelsey and Melanie are encouraging anyone who knows a young cancer patient to nominate them for the honour in the run up to Christmas.

There is no judging panel for the awards because Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens believes every child diagnosed with cancer deserves special recognition. 

Kelsey is pictured, aged one, with her mum Melanie

All children nominated will receive a unique trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card, t-shirt and a certificate signed by a host of famous faces, including Strictly Come Dancing’s Dr Ranj, Dame Emma Thompson, Una Healy and Aston Merrygold, as well as children’s favourite entertainer Mister Maker.

Their siblings also receive a certificate.

Kelsey, who is a Year 10 pupil at Newman RC College in Chadderton, has no recollection of being poorly.

She said: “Growing up and having constant hospital appointments has been a way of life for me.

"But now that I’m 15 I can look back and see that it must have been incredibly difficult for my mum looking after such a poorly baby.

“Ringing the bell to celebrate being discharged in the summer was a brilliant moment.

"I can just get on with the rest of my life now.”

Around 180 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the North West.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of nerve cells left behind from a baby’s development in the womb.

Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK.

Jane Bullock, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens in the North West, said: “The Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, recognise young cancer patients who have survived cancer or are currently being treated for the disease.

“Cancer can have a devastating impact on their lives and many of those who survive may live with serious long-term side effects from their treatment.

“Our mission is to fund research to find new, better and kinder treatments for young cancer patients in the North West, and across the UK.

"We want to bring forward the day when every child and young person survives cancer and does so with a good quality of life.

“So, we’re calling on people in Greater Manchester to nominate inspirational youngsters for this year’s Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Awards so that we can recognise their incredible courage.”

Thanks to the support of people in the North West and across the UK, 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.

In the early 1970s, four in 10 under 15s with cancer survived for at least five years.

Today, it’s more than eigh in 10.

The Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens Star Awards are run in partnership with TK Maxx, the biggest corporate supporter of the charity’s research into children’s cancers.

Since 2004, TK Maxx has raised over £32 million for research across the UK to find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer.  

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

To nominate a child for an award, visit:

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