The mum of cancer-battler Bradley Lowery has been put forward for an award in recognition of her efforts to help poorly children in memory of her son.
Gemma Lowery, who tragically lost six-year-old Bradley to cancer neuroblastoma in July last year, set up the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help children with their own health battles.
The Blackhall mum founded the charity as a way of creating a lasting legacy for her son, who raised global awareness of childhood cancer.
In the year since Gemma, 35, and her team started fundraising, they have raised money to help children and raised funds to go towards research and campaigns. Such campaigns have included plans for a holiday home to provide a place for children and their families to spend quality time together.
Gemma donated around £1.37m to the charity when it first started from the money that was raised for Bradley.
The charity has also supported around 26 children with their own fundraising campaigns.
And now the dedicated campaigner’s efforts have been recognised with a Best of Hartlepool Award nomination for Fundraiser of the Year.
On being put forward for an honour, Gemma said she was ‘overwhelmed’ and thanked people for their support.
She said: “I’m overwhelmed to be nominated for a Best of Hartlepool Award. “I don’t do what I do for recognition, but I’m grateful for people that are still thinking about me.”
Earlier this year, on what would have been the young Sunderland AFC fan’s seventh birthday, his fearless mum, Gemma took part in a tandem parachute jump in his honour at Shotton Air Field to raise as much money as possible.
And then in July this year, Gemma was able to celebrate a campaign win after a life-saving cancer treatment was approved for use on the NHS.
Gemma met then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in May to appeal for dinutuximab beta to be made available on the NHS.
She credits the antibody treatment with extending the life of Bradley, who received it while he was battling neuroblastoma.
Gemma battled to make it available on the NHS, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which recommended that it should be used to treat children with the disease on the NHS.
It is the first targeted cancer immunotherapy approved for use on the NHS to treat neuroblastoma.
How to make a nomination.
Gemma joins a growing list of entries for this year’s awards.
But we want more. This is your chance to give those very special unsung heroes the praise they so richly deserve.
We have loads of categories to enter your nomination in.
Take a look at the list below and choose the right one for your community favourite.
In fact, don’t limit yourself to putting forward one hero.
Feel free to put as many nominations in as you like, as we are sure there are loads of worthy causes out there.
Here are the categories to choose from;
l Young Performer of the Year (Under 21);
l Green Champion;
l Student of the Year;
l Fundraiser of the Year;
l Volunteer of the year;
l Sporting Excellence;
l Community Group;
l Community Champion;
l Child of Courage;
l Child of Achievement;
l Emergency services award;
l Carer of the Year;
l Neighbour of the Year;
l Sports team of the year;
l Role model of the Year;
l Lifetime Achievement award.
Stagecoach, the Northern School of Art, Hart Biologicals, Joel D. Kerr Funeral Services, Utility Alliance Ltd, Tilly Baily and Irvine, the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, and English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College are the backers in this year’s competition and we thank them all.
We want you to nominate people by post to Lynn Wild, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.
Alternatively, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or nominate at https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/bestofhartlepool/
The deadline for entries is Friday, October 26.