Brave teenager Joshua to share amazing story of 'miracle' recovery from inoperable cancer
A teenager who captured hearts across the world as he battled cancer is to share the story of his remarkable recovery, described by his family as "a miracle".
Inspirational Co Down schoolboy Joshua Martin (14), who was told some of his tumours were inoperable, will appear this Sunday at the Elim Pentecostal Church, where his father Tim is a pastor.
Mum Kim told the Belfast Telegraph last night: "Joshua will be telling the story of his journey. What an awful start he had to the year, and what an amazing end.
"He'll explain how his situation got worse and worse, and how his prognosis was incredibly poor - and how God healed him.
"Joshua is thankful to everyone around the world who prayed for him and to the medical staff at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children who looked after him though his illness."
Thousands of people are expected to come to see Joshua at the 6.30pm event in Bangor, Kim said.
"The response we've had to date has been phenomenal," she added. "We're expecting several thousand people from as far away as Donegal and Fermanagh. We've had to open up an overflow hal, and we'll be streaming Joshua's presentation to it.
"I'm sure there will be many people who need that miracle themselves, and we hope Joshua's story will inspire them, encourage them, and give them faith to pray for their own miracle, because we believe God is a miracle-working God.
"We believe He healed Joshua and we would love people to come along and be expectant about what God can do in their lives, too."
It was on Christmas Eve last year that the Donaghadee boy's life was thrown into turmoil when he was rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis.
The Bangor Grammar School pupil and his devoted parents were devastated when surgeons discovered aggressive tumours - some inoperable - in his abdomen.
The diagnosis prompted months of intensive chemotherapy, invasive surgery and prolonged stays in hospital.
A massive social media campaign using the hastag #prayforjosh was started by Bangor Elim Church in support of the youngster and his family.
As the online appeal reached millions, prayers were said at home and abroad for the schoolboy's recovery.
The global prayer campaign gained international momentum with golfers Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness posting messages of support to all their Twitter followers for the teenager.
And, in an astonishing turnaround, last month Kim revealed that Joshua's tumours were gone.
Last night she revealed that he remains completely free of his tumours and is now full of energy - even going swimming and wrestling with his father. "It's been a dreadful year for the whole family," said Kim. "Words cannot describe how horrific it was watching our son in pain 24/7, and just when we thought it could get no worse, it got worse.
"But Joshua was so incredibly brave and always so very polite, thinking of other before himself. He was just such an incredible young man. I'm so proud that he's my son.
"He is full of life, full of vitality. He never stops - he's cycling and swimming, even wrestling with his dad to the point that I have to split them apart."
Joshua now goes for a monthly scan and routine tests and remains clear of cancer, Kim said. She thanked all the people worldwide who had prayed and sent messages of goodwill during her son's illness.
"There has been a huge number of people across the world who've followed his story and given him encouragement through the darkest days not only of his life, but of all our lives," added Kim.