A SCHOOLBOY who is fighting cancer for the second time has won an award in recognition of his bravery.
Twelve-year-old Seb Murphy, from Guiseley, was just three when he was first diagnosed with leukaemia. Now he is battling the disease again after it returned just over a year ago.
On Saturday he won the Young Achiever category of the Yorkshire Choice Awards after widespread support in a public vote.
Seb underwent three and a half years of gruelling chemotherapy treatment after the original diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The Yorkshire Choice Awards website says: “At 11, he was in his last year of primary school, looking forward to high school, enjoying playing football for the Guiseley Greens and you would never guess he was a cancer survivor. Sadly, at Christmas 2017, the leukaemia returned, and he failed to respond to treatment.
“He’s spent over 160 nights in hospital, much of that in isolation not even able to see his brother and sister. He has undergone high dose chemotherapy, immunotherapy, full body radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. He has bravely suffered the horrendous side effects of the brutal treatment and if he is lucky enough to be cured, he will have to live with the long term after effects of the treatment for the rest of his life. He is on a roller-coaster which is continuing to give huge challenges but in the eyes of all who know him he is a true inspirational hero.”
Seb’s mum Helen said the family were all delighted by his success.
“It was a fantastic event for Seb to be a part of,” she said. “All the nominees had inspirational stories and would have been worthy winners. We will never forget our pride and emotion hearing Seb being announced as the winner and watching him go up on stage and collect his award in front of over 700 people.
“We have been overwhelmed by all the support and lovely messages for Seb. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Seb and helped to make this wonderfully positive experience happen for our boy.”
Family friend Ruth Owen, who nominated him for the award, said: “Needless to say it was hugely emotional watching him go up in stage and then seeing everyone want to shake his hand and congratulate him afterwards.”
She added: “Saturday was an evening of celebration and there was a huge array of very worthy nominees in each category. A big thank you to everyone who got behind Seb and voted for him. He is a very modest young man who I hope will feel encouraged by all the love and support for him.”
Seb underwent a bone marrow transplant from a German donor who was found via the DKMS register and is having further top ups of cells from his donor.
Young Achiever of the Year Award, supported by Yorkshire Payments