“THE bravest boy I know.”
A mother’s heartfelt words as her son battles for life.
Jemma Armstrong finally has son Kian, three, home after a harrowing seven weeks spent in hospital.
In a bid to combat neuroblastoma, the Castletown tot has had surgery to remove a tumour and a high intensity course of chemotherapy, encountering a catalogue of problems along the way.
At his worst, Kian’s immune system was so ineffective he was kept in isolation from his beloved brothers and sisters in case he caught any illnesses.
Now the family, including Keith, 14, Keeley, 10, and Kyle, seven, have been reunited at their Parkhouse Avenue home.
Jemma, 28, who is married to Neil, said: “The first time we have seen him smile properly, with his eyes, is when he saw his brothers and sister.
“He just hugged them around the neck and clung to them.
“He is the bravest boy I know. I don’t think as an adult I could go through half of what he’s been through.”
Earlier this year, Kian was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer which forms from nerve tissue.
His family now face an anxious wait for scans to see if the latest round of treatment, in which Kian underwent a stem cell transplant at Newcastle’s RVI, has worked.
“At one point his stomach was so swollen, he looked seven months pregnant,” said mum-of-four Jemma.
“He has been through so much with a stem cell transplant, chest infections and problems on top of that, it’s been absolutely horrific.
“But he has smiled throughout it all, always giving the doctors the thumbs up to say he is OK, even at his poorliest.”
Since his diagnosis, Kian’s battle has inspired a host of fund-raising.
The latest event will see Jemma have her head shaved at Castletown Community Centre, on Saturday, December 8, which will be in aid of the Neuroblastoma Society.
In recognition of his bravery, Kian has been nominated for a Child of Courage trophy in the Pride of Wearside Awards which will culminate in a ceremony on November 21.
•To sponsor Jemma, search for “Kian Armstrong - My Fight Against Neurobastoma” on Facebook.
Nominate your hero
NOW in its seventh year, the Pride of Wearside is a chance to give our city’s unsung heroes the recognition they deserve.
There are 11 categories to enter.
They are Child of Achievement, Community Champion, Child of Courage, Safer Community, Sporting Achievement, Student of the Year, Community Group, Fundraiser of the Year, Local
Local Force Hero and Green Champion.
The deadline for entries has been extended to November 9.
Winners will receive their awards at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light, on November 21.
To make a nomination in the Pride of Wearside 2012, visit www.sunderlandecho.com/community/events-exhibitions