BRAVE Madison Shurmer, who has hardly missed a day at school despite going through intensive cancer treatment, was a guest of honour at a special party held to salute the courage of all children coping with the disease.
Seven-year-old Madison attended a ‘stars and space’-themed Little Star Awards party, held by Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx at the Kensington Roof Gardens in London.
The cosmic celebration was organised to help raise awareness of the charity’s groundbreaking work in childhood cancer research. Madison met several celebrities, including Strictly Come Dancing’s Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff.
Madison, from Churchward Avenue, was diagnosed with leukaemia last October. She had swollen glands in her neck, but did not feel unwell and attended Ferndale Community School as normal.
She had been sent home from several visits to her GP surgery and A&E as being “too fit to be ill”, but her grandmother was not convinced and secured a hospital appointment for Madison which led to the diagnosis.
Her mum, Michelle, said: “All the doctors she saw thought she had a virus.
“They said she was too fit for it to be anything serious. And when they asked me to return to the hospital immediately, I was expecting them to repeat what they said earlier – that it was nothing serious.
“The first thing I thought when they told me it was leukaemia was, ‘Is Madison going to die?’ They quickly reassured me she could be treated. They have been brilliant ever since.”
Doctors said Madison had a high-risk cancer requiring intensive chemotherapy. Her treatment – in Oxford and Swindon – is ongoing but her parents have been assured by doctors her prognosis is good.
Michelle, who has two other daughters – Florence, five, and one-year-old Willow – added: “Our lives have been thrown apart but Madison is absolutely amazing and I’m so proud to call her my daughter.
“She is so brave and kind. Even when she is scared she will stay calm so she doesn’t scare the children younger than her going through the same thing.”
Madison’s progress was confirmed to her proud mum when she came second in the egg and spoon race at her sports day recently.
Michelle added: “She has coped so well. She has hardly had any days off school and she has kept up with her school work. She lost her long hair because of the chemotherapy and wears a scarf. But she wanted to continue to go to school through her treatment.
“The other children really look after her and the school have been brilliant.”
Michelle said Madison loved the party. “Maddie particularly loved sitting in the beautiful roof gardens.” For more information about the Little Star Awards visit www.cruk.org/littlestar.
Alternatively, visit http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/volunteer