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Good Morning Britain Young Fundraiser Terminally-ill youngster is on a mission to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds so other children won't suffer too AARON, nine, has ROHHAD, an extremely rare and complex disease that affects the function of every system and organ within the body. There are just 100 known cases worldwide, 12 of which are in the UK.

Sufferers face a daily fight for survival and many die before they reach their teens. And Aaron is determined to help them, and make sure others don't have to suffer like him.

When doctors confirmed he had ROHHAD in January 2015, there was no test to diagnose it, little research into the illness and critically, no cure.

Aaron and his family founded the ROHHAD Association to raise awareness and money for research, as well as to offer support to other families. So far they have raised PS310,000.

After seeing the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of motor neurone disease on the news, Aaron asked his mum if he could do something similar. He came up with the Muddy Puddle Challenge, where participants jump in puddles - something Aaron can't do due to his condition.

He made a video calling on his favourite superhero, Ironman - played by Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr - to do the challenge. The actor was so inspired by Aaron's selflessness and desire to help others, he flew to Britain to meet him and do the challenge.

Robert said: "As I got to know him more, I just got caught up in the spirit of his desire to help others." | You can donate online at JAYDEE-LEE DUMMETT Child of Courage Schoolgirl saved her family's lives by raising the alarm when she recognised the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning IN March 2019, Jaydee-Lee, seven, noticed her brother Laylan, four, was disoriented and acting strangely when he awoke in the night. She immediately recognised his behaviour as the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which she had learned about at school three weeks previously, during a gas safety visit.

Laylan was disoriented and saying there was someone at the end of his bed. Mum Lindy thought he was sleepwalking but Jaydee-Lee noticed the light on the family's carbon monoxide detector had turned from green to red, but with no alarm sounding, Lindy would not have noticed. Jaydee-Lee even remembered the gas emergency number - 0800 111 999 - for her mum to call.

Without Jaydee-Lee's quick thinking, her family would have been among the 50 people killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK this year.

Lindy says: "I couldn't be prouder - she saved our lives. Looking back, without that lesson, I genuinely don't think we'd still be alive. She's our little hero."

SGT STEVIE BULL This Morning Emergency Services Award Heroic police officer risked her own life to tackle a man brandishing a gun at terrified nurses in a hospital ward STEVIE was at University College Hospital in London in March 2018 with a colleague who had been taken ill, when she heard a call on her radio and saw security guards run past.

Stevie, a PC at the time, ran to the scene where she was confronted by a man pointing a handgun at a nurse. He also had a large suitcase, raising fears it could be a bomb.

When he refused to put the weapon down, she attempted to tackle him to the floor.

During the struggle, Stevie sustained a head and neck injury, but she continued to wrestle with the gunman.

With the help of two security guards, she pinned him to the ground, handcuffed him and retrieved the gun, which was later found to be a starter pistol.

Sgt Chris Couling, Stevie's superior officer at the time, said: "Having seen a photo of the gun you wouldn't know it was a starter pistol."

Stevie, who has since been promoted to sergeant, said: "I didn't really think about my own safety, I just acted on instinct."

Child of Courage Youngster whose motto is "there are no disabilities, only abilities". A powerful advocate for other disabled children DANTE, 11, was born with brittle bone disease and scoliosis. He has spent most of his life in and out of hospital for treatment, including painful rod replacement surgery in his legs. But the Liverpool schoolboy refuses to let it get him down.

He became involved with the children's charity Variety when his mum Rachel asked for help to buy a new wheelchair. During the home visit, Dante dazzled Dante optimistic outlook and she asked him to speak at an event.

His speech was such a success he now speaks regularly to audiences of adults to raise awareness and PS30,000 for a Sunshine Bus.

Dante also visits other seriously ill and disabled children in hospital, bringing light and laughter to the wards and identifying others who could benefit from Variety's support.

Dante says: "I am lucky, I have the best mum in the world. My message to others is be resilient, be brave and never give up. And just because you are disabled, you are no different to anyone else.

Marvin Never forget that."

BEN HEDGER Child of Courage Hero schoolboy steered car across dual carriageway, after his mum collapsed at the wheel at 65mph BEN'S mum Lauren had picked him up from school last December. They were on the way home, on the A120 near Colchester, Essex, when Lauren began staring into space.

Initially Ben thought she was joking, but then the car began to swerve into the right-hand lane at 65mph.

The car veered across both lanes of the dual carriageway before hitting the central reservation and scraping along the barrier.

Lauren had now started shaking and her muscles tensed causing her foot to push down on the accelerator. Ben, then eight, undid his seatbelt and grabbed the wheel, steering the car back across two lanes and onto the grass verge where it stalled and came to a stop. Ben even put the hazard lights on to warn other drivers.

Lauren was now slumped over the steering wheel, and Ben feared she had died, but she made a full recovery in hospital.

Lauren says, "I've never had a seizure before so there's no way he would have known what to do in that situation. I'm so proud of Ben and amazed." JOSH LITTLEJOHN & ALICE THOMPSON Special Recognition Friends who began a sandwich shop to raise money for social causes now lead a global movement to end homelessness Josh & THE pair opened Social Bite, a cafe which donates profits to social causes, in Edinburgh in 2012. Now Social Bite has grown from a single cafe to five, and a social business aimed at ending homelessness worldwide. One in three staff have experienced homelessness, and customers can pay for food and drink in advance for a homeless person.

After a fundraising sleepout with business leaders, in 2017 they launched Sleep in the Park, which saw 8,000 people raise PS4million. A year later, 10,000 people took part, raising a further PS3.65million.

They have also built the Social Bite Village from reclaimed wasteland in Edinburgh, which provides shelter for up to 20 homeless people. And they asked landlords to pledge accommodation, a programme called Housing First. The scheme received PS6.5million from the Scottish Government. By April 2021, 830 people will be housed.

Alice In December, the World's Big Sleep Out will take place in 50 cities including London and New York. It aims to raise PS40million for homelessness initiatives.

Josh & Alice social BEN CLIFFORD TSB Community Partner Inspirational surfer gives people with disabilities the chance to experience the joy of the sport at world-leading surf school WHEN a disabled person asks Ben if they can go surfing, his answer is always: "Of course you can."

This is the mission statement for Surfability UK, the country's first fully-inclusive surf school, which Ben set up in Caswell Bay near Swansea in 2013. He goes to extreme lengths to help people with the most severe disabilities take part in the sport.

If someone arrives at Surfability with a disability he has not seen before, he researches their Ben Clifford condition and even invents new kit, such as the UK's first seated tandem surfboard for people who cannot sit up.

It means nobody misses out, and Ben says: "Our youngest surfer at the moment is six and our oldest 73. I see them as individuals and I try to find a way to make it work."

Ben, 34, is now a world-leader in new teaching methods and safety techniques. He is working with the International Surfing Association to develop standards for adaptive surfing, helping those in surfing hotspots such as California, South Africa and Australia.

Today, Surfability supports more than 500 people.

Ben Clifford DAME ELIZABETH ANIONWU Lifetime Achievement Overcame prejudice to become a nurse and transform care for people with sickle cell disease BORN in 1947 to an Irish student and a Nigerian law student, Elizabeth's early life was dogged by racism and the stigma of illegitimacy. Shame led her family to put her in a home run by Catholic nuns.

It was a childhood filled with cruelty - in one home she was made to stand with a urine-soaked sheet over her head as a punishment for wetting the bed. But a caring nursing nun who treated her when she was four, inspired her to become a nurse. At 16 she started as a Dame school nursing assistant in Wolverhampton, the start of a 50-year career as a nurse, tutor and professor.

Alongside Dr Misha Brozovic, she set up the UK's first Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening and Counselling Centre in 1979, a condition mostly found in African and Caribbean communities and, at the time, often overlooked in the NHS. Dame Elizabeth, now 72, became the UK's first sickle cell nurse specialist and was involved in setting up the Sickle Cell Society.

Now Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London, she co-led a bid to have a statue of the nurse Mary Seacole erected at St. Thomas' Hospital in 2016. Elizabeth Anionwu MARGARET WALKER Special Recognition Speech therapist invented Makaton, a language programme of signs, symbols and speech to change the lives of millions MARGARET was working at an institution in Surrey for people with learning disabilities in 1968, when she noticed staff only communicated with residents using speech. It led to frustration and sometimes disruptive behaviour among those who were unable to express themselves.

She decided to assess the communication needs of all 1,110 residents.

Margaret, now 80, spent the next six months recording staffMargaret speaking to residents and their attempts to respond. She found all shared around 350 essential concepts - which became the Makaton Core Vocabulary, a language programme that uses signs, symbols and speech to enable people to communicate.

By 1976, word of Makaton had spread and she held her first training workshop. In 1978, Margaret established the beginnings of what is now the Makaton Charity.

The language has been adapted for more than 40 countries. More than a million children and adults in the UK use Makaton signs and symbols, and 100,000 people with a wide range of conditions rely on it to communicate.

Walker DANIEL NICHOLSON & JOEL SNARR Outstanding Bravery Sales manager and former soldier risked their lives to pull three people from a burning plane DAN Nicholson was driving home in May last year when a light aircraft plummeted to the ground just 200 yards in front of his car.

The plane had suffered engine problems shortly after take off, hit power lines and crashed into the central reservation of the A40 in Abergavenny.

With no thought for his own safety, Dan, 46, ran towards the burning wreckage. Trapped inside were teenage brother and sister Jack Moore and Billie Manley, and their uncle, the pilot Stuart Moore.

Dan recalls: "The plane was upside down and flames were coming out. I could hear screaming so I climbed under the wing. You could feel the heat and smoke."

He smashed the rear window and pulled Billie, 16, from the smoke-filled cabin. At that point Joel Snarr, a former army officer, ran from his car to help. Joel, 35, helped Dan get Jack, 19, out of the wreckage. And then Joel grabbed the pilot and pulled him free, minutes before the plane was engulfed in flames.

Dan adds: "I would do it all over again. I am so proud we managed to save all three people inside."

HEZRON BROWN Prince's Trust Young Achiever Overcame a life of crime and homelessness to help steer thousands of young people away from gangs and violence WHEN Hezron was five, he fell into a bath of scalding hot water and was severely burned. Despite months of skin grafts in Birmingham Children's Hospital, he was badly scarred. It led to bullying from other children and Hezron resorted to violence as a coping mechanism.

After being expelled from both primary and secondary school, his mother could no longer cope and asked him to leave home.

He was 13. He initially lived with his older sister but by 15, he was living on the streets. Social services secured him a flat and he got a place at college, but he was soon drawn into gang life.

Facing a long sentence for robbery, Hezron, now 29, was given a second chance by the judge, who did not jail him. He left court determined to change his life and went back into education.

After a Prince's Trust programme helped him find a job, he turned his attention to helping others. Over the past seven years he has told his story to thousands of youngsters to steer them away from gangs, drugs and violence, he has mentored hundreds of young people, and works with the National Citizen Service, and a Prince's Trust Ambassador.

JAMIE MCDONALD ITV Fundraiser of the Year Growing up with a rare spinal condition inspired Jamie McDonald to raise almost PS1million to help others WHETHER it's rattling a tin in the street, selling raffle tickets or running marathon, we all know someone who raises money to help others.

ITV regional news programmes asked viewers to nominate exceptional fundraisers in their area.

Regional winners were selected by judges from each ITV area, then the Pride of Britain judges had the tough task of choosing the overall winner, Jamie McDonald, who was announced at the awards.

Jamie has completed a series of gruelling endurance challenges including running 5,500 miles across America dressed as his alter-ego, Adventureman.

For the first nine years of his life, he was in and out of hospital with rare spinal condition syringomyelia. As an adult, he has been determined to help others and repay the support he received when he was younger.

In 2012, he cycled 14,000 miles from Bangkok to his hometown of Gloucester, UK. He then broke the world static non-stop cycling record, spending hours pedalling an exercise bike.

In February 2014, he became the first person to run the 5,000 miles across Canada from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast without the aid of support crew.

In March this year, dressed as Adventureman, he completed a solo 5,500 mile run across America. Weeks later, he broke another world record, running 524 miles on a treadmill.


Aaron with his hero Robert Downey Jr, aka Iron Man

but with no alarm Lindy would not have Jaydee-Lee with Laylan and mum

Dante Marvin

Dame Elizabeth

Margaret Walker

Hezron Brown

Real life superhero Jamie McDonald

After being diagnosed with a rare condition known as ROHHAD, Aaron Hunter came up with a social media campaign to raise awareness of the illness
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 5, 2019
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