BATTLING Dylan Knox is the pride of Wearside.
The 18-year-old, who lost his six-year fight with cancer on New Year’s Eve, swept the board at Sunderland City Council’s Young Achievers’ Awards.
Dylan was named the overall winner and recipient of the Andy Neal Award, as well as winning the Personal Achievement 14-20 category, in recognition of his brave efforts to lead as normal a life as possible.
His family, who live in Houghton, were there to pick up the awards on his behalf.
Despite constant setbacks and worsening health, Dylan continued at school as much as possible and raised £17,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Fund-raising has continued in his memory, taking the total to more than £30,000.
“I am so, so proud of him.” .Dylan Knox’s mum Sharon Ede.
“I am so, so proud of him,” said mum Sharon Ede. “There’s more fund-raising to come in the future.
“It was all Dylan’s idea, he was a hero – a superhero – and we will keep the fund-raising going as long as we can.”
Guests at the Stadium of Light presentation evening donated more than £500 to the Teenage Cancer Trust in Dylan’s memory.
City executive director of People’s Services Neil Revely, said: “Sunderland can be very proud of its entire young people, and these annual awards are our chance to officially recognise and celebrate the massive contribution they make to so many aspects of our lives.
“The annual Young Achievers’ Awards are presented in a number of categories, reflecting the huge range of individual and shared talents, creativity and determination young people have here in our city.
“Sunderland was one of the first cities in the UK to launch this kind of annual awards, and I’m delighted that many others have followed our example to celebrate the achievements of other young people across the country.”
The awards are open to anyone living in Sunderland aged between eight and 20 years old with friends and family invited to nominate a young person for their achievements, bravery, talent and positive contribution to the lives of their families, communities and city.
The Andy Neal award to the overall winner is presented in memory of the late senior youth worker Andy Neal, who worked tirelessly to establish the awards and organised the event every year until his death in 2011.
This year a panel of previous winners divided the awards into several categories to widen the scope of eligibility.
The categories are Music and the Performing Arts, Personal Achievement, Academic Achievement, Young Carer, Young Volunteer, Sport, School Council, Service to the Community, Anti-Bullying and Young Apprentice.