PRIDE OF THE ISLE AWARDS: Read the finalists’ stories

Beth Johnson
Beth Johnson

Next month sees the glittering celebration evening for the fifth Lex’s Legacy Pride of the Isle Awards.

The Pride of the Isle committee, headed by Leesa Sharpe, had the task of selecting inspirational winners within a number of categories for awards to recognise virtues such as courage, selflessness or care in the community.

Brooke McKenna

Brooke McKenna

To take place at Doncaster Racecourse on February 3, the fifth awards night will be hosted by Craig Phillips with live music from the X Factor’s Faye Horne. Tickets and corporate tables are available via the charity’s website.

The charity was formed five years ago to support children and families facing difficulties, and to help create happy memories.

The finalists are as follows, along with their stories:

Male category

Claire Todd

Claire Todd

Paul Verrico

Less than a year after losing his wife Anna to cancer, volunteer-run charity Team Verrico was launched by Paul, aiming to help families facing a cancer diagnosis to get a second opinion.

Second opinions mean families can get the best treatment possible.

Team Verrico also offers the practical help and emotional support families need and funds cutting-edge research into rare and hard to treat cancers.

David Jones

David Jones

None of the work Team Verrico does would have been possible without Paul.

He has worked tirelessly since his wife’s death to make the charity the huge success that it is.

Hundreds of people have benefited from the charity’s services and several of them have been given more tomorrows.

Paul plays an active role in the charity, organising events and taking part in fundraisers; the latest being Athens Marathon.

Isabella Thornton

Isabella Thornton

This marathon course is notorious for being possibly the most difficult on the planet, yet Paul refused to give up despite a knee injury and 25 degree heat.

In taking on this challenge, Paul has so far raised almost £6,500.

To Vote for Paul please Text: PVTV99£1 (no space) to 70070.

Peter Lee

For 25 years Peter has voluntarily looked after and run the Delves fishing ponds.

He ran fishing matches for both children and adults and taught children how to fish.

Jack Kirsopp

Jack Kirsopp

In doing so, he kept children out of any trouble they might have got into and set up a fishing team for people from Thorne - who became a team to beat.

Peter also set up a family event called Party at the Pond, which ran for five years until Peter had to care for his wife, who unfortunately lost her legs.

Peter has been the driving force behind fundraising for his wife - researching treatment to help her walk again.

He has a target of £30,000 to get his wife help at a clinic in Mumbai.

To Vote Peter Lee please text: PLEE59£1 (no space) to 70070

David Jones

David walked all the way from Scunthorpe United’s Glanford Park to the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster in a mankini in time for the 3pm kick off.

Having set a target of £600, David has raised £1,396.

To Vote for Dave please Text: SUSC75£1 (no space) to 70070

Female category

Kim Davis

When Kim underwent an operation to remove a tumour pressing on her spinal cord, for unexplained reasons, she lost the use of her legs - after doctors told her she would be walking again within a week.

After nearly five months in hospital, funds are being raised for Kim to undergo a stem cell transplant in Mumbai and for intensive physiotherapy to help her rebuild her muscles.

Kim has been described as determined and inspirational.

To vote for Kim please Text: KIMD19£1 (no space) to 70070

Sandra Marshall

Sandra is raising money for her 34-year-old son Jack who is battling brain cancer.

She has so far raised £36,000 to go towards Jack receiving treatment in Germany.

Jack was first diagnosed with a benign grade two glioma in 2012 - at the time, the operation to remove it was deemed a success.

However, the tumour returned in late 2014 as a malignant grade four glioblastoma which was impossible to completely remove through surgery.

The surgery resulted in the loss of use in his left arm and aggressive radio and chemotherapy treatment.

Against the odds, Jack responded well and lived a normal life for two years.

Sadly, recent scans showed the tumour was active again and inoperable.

Sandra has been holding various events to raise money to send Jack to Germany, with the first three treatment sessions costing £40,000.

She said: “My son is my world and I will never give up fighting to keep him alive and well so he can have his hearts desires and see his beautiful daughter grow up.”

To vote for Sandra please Text: SAND40£1 (no space) to 70070

Jodie Wilson

Jodie’s son Daniel was born in November 2016.

Due to complications at birth he was diagnosed with Severe Hypoxic Encephalopathy (HIE).

Within 24 hours, Jodie and her partner Warren were told Daniel was going to pass away and they made the decision to take him off the ventilator and say goodbye.

But now, over the past year, Daniel has been in and out of hospital.

He has suffered severe bouts of pneumonia, collapsed lungs, chest infections and has undergone two operations with more to come.

Daniel is profoundly deaf, visually impaired, has liver and kidney damage, his legs don’t bend, and it’s unlikely he will ever be able to walk.

Jodie has been described as strong and an inspiration.

To vote for Jodie please text: JODI10£1 (no space) to 70070

Child (girl) category

Jessie and Macy Stocks

Jessie was diagnosed with Leukaemia in January 2016 when she was old just over one year old.

She has since spent 18 months in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered her disease was resistant to chemotherapy.

She also unfortunately contracted infections and was fed by a tube for two months.

After responding well to a bone marrow transplant, after her second birthday Jess faced more complications and suffered three seizures and test showed her brain had been damaged.

Her family are now hoping she will respond to other treatments - they’ve said both she and her seven year old sister Macy have missed out on so much during Jessie’s time in hospital.

They praised the way Macy coped with so much time spent in hospital with her sister.

To vote for Jessie & Macy please text JSMS02£1 (no space) to 70070

Mae Fox

Mae was born almost seven weeks prematurely following a complicated delivery and weighing just 4Ib 11oz.

After her first birthday, she was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.

This is a condition caused by damage to the brain, affecting the muscles.

After working but unfortunately being unable to stand or walk independently, Mae travelled to America to have a life changing operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

SDR is major spinal surgery, during which the nerves that cause Mae’s leg muscles to be stiff are cut with the view to improving the way her muscles move and giving Mae hope to walk in the future.

Ever since then Mae has worked tirelessly to reach her full potential.

With all her hard work, in October 2015, Mae walked her mum down the aisle as bridesmaid at her parents’ wedding.

Since then Mae has made amazing progress; she is able to walk on tripod walking sticks as well as crutches, she can stand and balance unaided and has initiated her first independent step.

To Vote for Mae please text: MAEF08£1 (no space) to 70070

Isabella Thornton

Isabella, who is 2 years old, is blind, peg fed, can’t communicate, is wheelchair bound and has seizures, among other difficulties, as a result of being starved of oxygen and brain damaged at birth.

She has been described as an amazing girl who still smiles despite her difficulties.

To vote for Isabella please Text: ISSY10£1 (no space) to 70070

Child (boys) category

Luke Smith

In 2016 five-year-old Luke became a big brother to baby Daniel.

Complications in labour meant Daniel was left with severe brain damage and at the time only given an hour to live.

Luke was told how he might have to say goodbye to his baby brother.

When Daniel survived by transferred to Jessops Hospital in Sheffield his future remained uncertain and remained critically ill in intensive care.

He picked up several infections and became very ill with sepsis.

Luke decided he wanted to help and learnt everything there is to know about different machines, tubes and testing, the names of medications and suctioning.

He went to the hospital after school and asked to do the 4pm tube feed and adored his baby brother beyond the wires, tubes and monitors.

Christmas was spent in hospital and Luke ensured he covered every corridor with reindeer food and left a carrot and mince pie at the hospital doors.

Daniel is now 10 months old and at home.

He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, an unsafe airway, requires 24-7 suctioning due to no swallow or gag,severe visual impairment and profound hearing loss, he is PEG fed into his tummy and has already undergone several operations and procedures.

His family have moved house to be near the hospital and time is filled with hospital appointments and hospice stays.

Luke helps to care for Daniel everyday and helps with his brother’s care in every way he can.

To vote for Luke please text LUKE06£1 (no space) to 70070

Toby Percival

Toby was born in February 2009 but became very poorly within the first six weeks.

He was later given a feeding tube and at one year old only weighed 15lb and couldn’t sit up unaided.

He has been diagnosed with severe reflux, multiple food allergies, eosinophic oesophagitis, poor gut motility, auto immune disease,severe hyper mobility and crohns.#

He had surgery aged four in a six hour operation and didn’t eat normal food until he was three-years-old.

Toby attends main stream school and carries a back pack all day long with his 3kg feeding pump and used a wheelchair for long distance walking.

A lot of Toby’s problems are unknown.

To vote for Toby Please text TOBY10£1 (no space) to 70070.

Taylor-James Mcdermid

Taylor-James has lots of different health issues and has from an early age.

Despite recently finding out part of his brain is pressing on his spine he still continues to be strong.

He attends numerous hospital appointments, but despite this he still continues to smile and shows courage and determination no matter what he has to deal with.

To vote for Taylor-James please Text: TJMA15£1 (no space) to 70070

Most inspirational adult

Bethany Johnson

Beth was an aspiring dancer when a car accident left her brain dead and fighting for her life.

After two years in hospital recovering, her mum was told Beth showed no signs of life and that her family should prepare to say goodbye.

But Beth made a miracle recovery and is now studying at North Lindsey College.

Beth was welcomed with opened arms into the college’s Kingsway Fitness Suite and with the help of a physiotherapist she made excellent progress.

She now attends the gym alone and doesn’t need assistance.

Beth has been described as a born fighter, who wants to help others affected by brain injuries.

To Vote for Beth please text: BJON90£1 (No space) to 70070

Leanne Parkin

Leanne is 33-years-old and at the age of 16 and just before her exams, she was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumour.

Thankfully after two operations the doctors managed to remove it. she whilst resting at home took her exams and passed them all, she went on and started work as if nothing had happened.

A few years later and about 2 month before her wedding, the plate in her head came loose, which meant that her head had to be shaved again to make safe the plate, we offered to help change her wedding date, but she wanted to face up and carry on to show people that you must let not things like this change your life, you control it.

Just recently she shaved her head to expose her 18 inch scare, to show others she is not ashamed of what has been done , she raised about £1000 for 3 different charities. She is my daughter, she is my hero.

When i was diagnosed with oral cancer, she was one of the reasons i fought so hard to get rid of it, which i did, she never complains, even though she suffers from frequent headaches, she always brings a smile to every body she meets, and always thinks of other before her. My grandchildren absolutely love her to bits.

To Vote for Leanne please Text: LPAR75£1 (no space) to 70070

Claire Todd

Claire has spent 20 years leading Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides around the Isle of Axholme and on trips away.

She has also been to Tanzania, trekking across the Masai Mara and more recently cycled in Vietnam and Cambodia to raise money for Girl Guiding UK.

Claire is also part of the leadership team at Epworth Baptist Church where she assists in running the weekly youth group and supports other areas of church life including the food bank helping local families in difficult circumstances.

She supports UK charities and has raised money for Compassion Christian children’s charity which sponsors children in poverty worldwide by climbing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

To vote for Clare Todd please text: CTOD54£1 (no space) to 70070

Most inspirational child (girl) - no voting

Brooke McKenna

Brooke McKenna has raised an amazing £12,000 for Team Verrico for families facing cancer.

As part of the Life Style project Brooke and her friends at St Martins completed a number of fund raising projects and encouraged friends and family to join in the activities.

She took part in the Cleethorpes Colour Run and walked the Humber Bridge - just a portion of the many activities she has taken part in.

She has also volunteered at the Anna Verrico Isle of Axholme Half Marathon and the Epworth Show.

Brooke met one of the families Team Verrico helps and saw first hand the vital and supportive work the charity does.

Brooke had her efforts acknowledged recently by charity Making A Difference Locally having a lorry named after her.

Most inspirational (boy) - no voting

Jack Kirsopp

Jack was born with an unknown neurological condition. He has multiple severe complex medical needs and a life limiting condition.

He requires 24-7 care from specialist carers and his parents. Jack has been in and out of hospital and on and off the ventilators his whole life and is a true fighter.

He has had three cardiac arrests in his life and his family have had to say goodbye many times.

Jack continues to inspire thousands of people around the globe and receives many postcards from all over the world from people who are inspired by him.

His family know one day they will lose Jack to his cruel condition and illnesses but are determined to make his remaining days as happy and as special as possible.

Jessie and Macy Stocks

Jessie and Macy Stocks

Jodie Wilson

Jodie Wilson

Kim Davis

Kim Davis

Leanne Parkin

Leanne Parkin

Luke Smith

Luke Smith