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Pride Of Britain Awards 2003: Choose our fundraiser of the year.

Byline: NICK WEBSTER

THEY all deserve a prize. But which finalist will be named GMTV Fund-raiser Of The Year at the Mirror's Pride Of Britain Awards 2004 next month?

It's a tough call - and it falls to you, our readers, to decide which of our quartet of heroes gets the accolade.

Will it be madcap Irishman Willie Nugent, testicular cancer survivor Colin Osborne, Parkinson's disease sufferer Tom Isaacs or Welsh kidney disease campaigner Helena Jones? Here, we tell their inspiring tales.

TO VOTE for your favourite, call or text the number beneath their story. Votes cost 25p plus text operator charges. Calls from mobiles may vary. Lines close at midnight tonight. Profits will be split between finalists' nominated charities.

COLIN OSBORNE

COLIN, 41, of Hainault, Essex, was diagnosed with testicular cancer 10 years ago. It quickly spread to his abdomen, pelvis, and lungs and he was given only two months to live.

He fought it for two years, suffering a stroke, enduring a bone marrow transplant and major surgery, before being given the all-clear.

In 1996 he launched a men's cancer charity, The Orchid Cancer Appeal, which has raised pounds 7.5million. Colin wants to break down the taboos surrounding the disease. He says: "You tiptoe enough around something like this and somebody dies. I should know, because it was nearly me."

TO VOTE FOR COLIN, CALL

0901 383 4421 (RoI: 1550 927 694) or text DMCOLIN to 86633 (RoI: 53305)

TOM ISAACS

TOM, 35, from Hertfordshire, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at just 27. Since then he has fought to raise money for research and to make people aware that the illness can strike young and old alike.

Despite shaking five times a second and taking 20 pills a day, he has already raised pounds 350,000.

He says: "When I was diagnosed it was a terrible shock. There's such a lack of understanding - people think it's just OAPs who shake."

He has walked from Land's End to John o'Groats, walked round the coast of Britain, scaled its highest peaks and run the London Marathon.TO VOTE FOR TOM, CALL

0901 383 4431 (RoI: 1550 927 696) or text DMTOM to 86633 (RoI: 53305)

WILLIE NUGENT

HOSPITAL porter Willie, 53, from Armagh, Northern Ireland, has raised more than pounds 1million in 30 zany years.

He was awarded an MBE in 1993 for his incredible efforts for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Children In Need and other charities.

He has been covered in worms and stood motionless for a day with 12 mice down his tracksuit. He's walked 81 miles backwards, lain in an ice bath, carried a bucket of water on his head for seven miles and pushed a pea with his nose for two-and-a-half miles.

TO VOTE FOR WILLIE, CALL 0901 383 4422 (R

oI: 1550 927 695) or text DMWILLIE to 86633 (RoI: 53305)HELENA JONES

FOUR of Helena's five children suffer from kidney disease.

Sons Robert and Wayne have had kidney transplants, but Richard and Helen still await donors and have to have regular dialysis.

Grandmother Helena, 70, of Neath, South Wales, is a dedicated supporter of the National Kidney Research Fund and a committed campaigner.

She has raised pounds 13,000 by skydiving from 10,000 feet and abseiling down Wales' tallest building.

Helena's Hope, a campaign to find more organ donors in Wales, has inspired 40,000 people to join the register.

TO VOTE FOR HELENA, CALL

0901 383 4432 (RoI: 1550 927 697) or text DMHELENA to 86633 (RoI: 53305)
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2004
Words:586
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