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Family's hope as teen faces another cancer fight

Parents praise Bangor boy and are thankful for huge support

By Allan Preston

Published 29/11/2016

Josh Martin is facing a second battle against cancer
Josh Martin is facing a second battle against cancer
Josh with his parents Kim and Tim

The family of a Co Down teenager who is battling cancer for the second time in a year has praised his bravery as they thanked thousands of well-wishers.

Josh Martin (15), from Bangor, first captured hearts around the world when an online campaign in 2015 - known by the hashtag #prayforjosh - went viral as he battled a series of cancerous tumours in his abdomen.

Despite making a full recovery by October last year, his family made the heartbreaking announcement in October that his cancer had returned.

Now weeks into a new course of chemotherapy treatment, his mum Kim Martin said she is amazed by her son's positive attitude.

"He's doing really well. He's going to the hospital for treatment every couple of weeks," she said.

"The staff at Royal Victoria Children's hospital are wonderful with him and really go above and beyond the call of duty."

Josh is still able to attend school most days, but can be prone to tiredness and needs to take days off when he's in pain.

"He still enjoys going to Bangor Elim Church and he's got a good circle of friends," said Mrs Martin. "He's also planning a very long list for Christmas which he deserves."

After posting a Facebook update on Josh's treatment on Sunday night, the family received over 2,000 likes and 400 messages of support from the public.

"We sat down as a family on Sunday night and went through those and it was really touching and overwhelming that people take the time to respond and show us their love and support," said Mrs Martin.

"That's been such an encouragement to all of us to know that people love our wee boy like we do."

She said she has been amazed once again by Josh's resilience in fighting his illness.

"He's very positive and just wants people to pray for him as he saw how God moved in his body the last time," she said.

"His faith in God is very strong and he's such a positive outlook on life.

"We've never heard him complain or grumble, he's getting on with his GCSEs and working hard."

She continued: "We'd rather we weren't having to face this again. But as a family our faith is very strong - we've seen God move, we firmly believe God's going to heal him again we've no doubt."

The family are all planning to celebrate the festive season at home together.

"On paper cancer's not something you want to have but Christmas is the season of hope," she said.

"I think it puts into perspective what's important in life."

Josh is due for an MRI scan on December 13.

His mum has said once again asked the public to keep Josh in their thoughts. "We simply ask people to pray and if they can give blood transfusions."

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