City youngster wins Princess Diana award

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A SELFLESS teenager has been handed a prestigious award set up in honour of Princess Diana to recognise inspirational young people.

Through helping his dad with debilitating illness MS, Nathan Brown, 15, was inspired to reach out the hand of support to other sufferers.

After creating a website with the latest news and advise on MS, the Hetton School pupil has been presented with a Diana Memorial award.

Speaking from his home in Caroline Street, Hetton, Nathan said: “When dad was first diagnosed with MS there was very little support available. There were websites but they were unreliable and unofficial and made dad think he was going to die.

“It was horrible to see him go through that ordeal and I wanted to do something to get the proper facts out there.”

Nathan’s website is updated regularly with information for those suffering with the condition and has more than 550 page views a month.

Dad Carl, 42, and mum Helen, 39, proudly watched on as Nathan was presented with his award at a school ceremony.

Carl said: “Nathan does a brilliant job. As well as doing the website, he cares for me and also looks after disabled people in the area.

“He knew he had been shortlisted for the award, but didn’t know that he had won until he was presented with the award. It’s fantastic, we are so proud of him.”

Nathan volunteered to run the website at an MS Society branch meeting and now hopes to study ICT at college.

He said: “It has all sorts of information like what disabled access there is at Metro stations, lots of things like that. I feel proud that it is helping people, but my jaw nearly hit the floor when I found out I had won.”

Sheila Crawford, Local Support Development Officer in the North of England for the MS Society, said: “We’re so pleased for Nathan. He’s a great lad and his support for his Dad along side his hard work and commitment to the local branch of the MS Society is commendable – he’s an inspiration to us all.”

The kind-hearted teen is also in line for a Young Achievers Awards. He is one of a group of inspirational young people to have been shortlisted for the Sunderland City Council-run awards.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on March 10.

•Visit Nathan’s website at www.mssociety.org.uk/sunderland

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disabling neurological condition which affects around 100,000 people in the UK.

MS is the result of damage to myelin - a protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system.

When myelin is damaged, this interferes with messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern. For everyone, it makes life unpredictable.

•For more information about visit www.mssociety.org.uk