Enfield girl, nine-year-old Nikki Christou has been named as a winner in the prestigious national 2013 WellChild Awards, in association with GlaxoSmithKline, and will be off to collect her prize in London in September having been nominated by her consultant dermatologist Mary Glover.

Nikki, who has an arterio-venous malformation which leads to high risk bleeding around the face, was picked from 100s of nominations from across the UK to win the category of Inspirational Child in these Awards which celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families. The Awards are run by WellChild, the national charity for sick children.

Nikki will be one of the stars of the show at September’s high profile Awards ceremony, which has been attended over the past few years by many of WellChild’s celebrity supporters, including Royal Patron Prince Harry.

Nikki ‘s condition has caused malformation of her face, loss of sight in one eye, constant treatments and repeated emergency hospital admissions to stem violent bleeding, including over Christmas last year. Nikki has also had to give up many of her favourite activities such as dancing and sport but she never complains instead focusing her attention on fundraising to help research into this incurable condition. Nikki has already raised £70,000.

Consultant Paediatric Dermatologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Mary Glover said: “Nikki is remarkable in the way she remains calm and tries to make things better for those around her, including the doctors and nurses, even when dealing with traumatic symptoms and procedures.”

Commenting at last year’s ceremony on the impact of the WellChild Award winners and the work of the charity, Prince Harry said: “All of you: children, families, nurses, doctors, carers, volunteers are quite frankly too remarkable for me adequately to describe with mere words. Your spirit triumphs through adversity and makes our every day worries seem very, very insignificant.

With hundreds of nominations received from across the country, the difficult job of choosing winners in all WellChild Award categories is given, each year, to an esteemed panel of judges. That panel consists of leading health professionals and others with an interest in children’s health and includes children and young people who face serious illness themselves.

WellChild’s Director of Programmes, Linda Partridge, is also a member of that panel. She said: “It is a tremendous challenge to select winners from the many, many truly amazing nominations we receive from all over the country. All the panel members are moved by the bravery of the children, the stories of selfless care and support and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters who make a great difference to the lives of sick children. Nikki truly deserves to be the winner of this award.

“The Awards are a perfect demonstration of WellChild’s commitment to helping as many seriously ill children and their families as we can through our programmes of care, support and research and embody our aim of raising awareness of the needs of people who are too often overlooked.”

Nikki will receive her award at the eighth Annual WellChild Awards ceremony on September 11th at the Dorchester Hotel on London’s Park Lane.

At this star-studded event, Nikki will meet a host of WellChild celebrity supporters, who attend each year to celebrate the courage of brave children and honour the dedicated work of the country’s health professionals. In addition to Royal Patron, Prince Harry, previous WellChild Award evenings have been attended by rock legend Rod Stewart with his wife Penny Lancaster Stewart, comedian Russell Howard, pop singer Pixie Lott, actress Barbara Windsor, pop band Scouting for Girls, Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and many more.

 

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