Little cancer battler Oliver Smart wins the Mail's Dear Santa prize
Little Oliver Smart is set to find something extra special in his Christmas stocking after the tot won the Mail's Dear Santa competition.
The four-year-old, is battling a rare form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma which left him paralysed from the waist down when he was just eight months old.
He has the same form of cancer which has struck little Bradley Lowery.
In his touching letter, the youngster from Longfellow Walk, Hartlepool, told us how he is facing an ongoing battle with his condition.
He said: “I think I deserve a special gift.
“I’ve got neuroblastoma and I can’t walk.
“I’ve been through a lot and had a lot of hurdles in front of me, but I’ve jumped over them with a big smile.
“I hope I get the chance to win the special gift off Santa.”
As the winner he received a £100 Love2Shop voucher along with four Sunderland v Liverpool match tickets.
Mum Mandy said the Avengers-mad youngster will be delighted with his gift.
“He will be over the moon to have won,” she said. “He is doing really well, he had an MRI scan two weeks ago where we found out that the tumour hasn’t grown.
“But we still have to keep going for regular check ups as the tumour affects his chest.
“Because the chemotherapy doesn’t work, all we can do for him is to have debulking operations to remove parts of the tumour as it grows.”
Oliver, has spent most of his life in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, first undergoing intricate surgery to remove the cancerous tumour from his spine back in November 2012.
He was re-admitted to Newcastle’s RVI Hospital in 2014 after scans revealed it had grown and was putting pressure on his other vital organs, making him prone to infections.
The little battler has even defied doctors prognosis that he would never stand on his own and manages to move with the support of his frame.
“We are so proud of him,” his mum added. “It must get him down, not being able to do what other boys do, but he just takes it one day at a time and is doing really well.”