Belfast Telegraph

How the tragic loss of his little sister turned brave Adam into a National Hero

A Northern Ireland schoolboy has walked away with a prestigious UK award for his selfless charity work in the face of his own personal tragedy.

Adam Kerr (12) took the National Hero award at the UK Family Heroes Awards in London last night for his tireless charitable work and the emotional support he has given to others in need.

His mother Gaye (48) said Adam’s amazing achievement was born out of his own tragedy following the death of his little sister — and that winning the award was one of the most amazing points in both their lives.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph she said her young son was humbled after receiving the award on October 20.

She said: “I really wasn’t sure he would win it but then they announced his name, he was so happy — I cried my heart out.”

“He said he was very humbled to be part of the ceremony — to win it was totally amazing.”

Adam, who attends Friends’ School in Lisburn, fended off a range of worthy winners — including a woman who had spent her entire life fostering children.

Gaye said her young son took his first courageous footsteps when he donated bone marrow to his three-year-old sister Helen — aged just six.

“It started off in 2005 when my little daughter Helen took a condition called HLH (a rare blood disorder) and had responded very well to chemotherapy — but two months later she needed a bone marrow transplant.

“Adam was a match and was very keen to help his little sister.

“He flew over to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and donated his marrow on June 24th — his birthday.”

Although his bravery shone through, Helen passed away two months later.

But the tragic death of his sister only spurred him on.

His mother said he spent the next few years counselling and encouraging children in a similar situation — as well as raising money for cancer charities.

“After something so sad, something so positive has come out of it. He’s a fabulous child.

“He started fundraising for the NI Cancer Fund for Children.

“He also raised over £5,000 to help a family travel to and from London for their son’s bone marrow transplant.”

After spending half his young life working tirelessly for others, his mother — who works as a full-time carer for her nine-year-old son Brian — believes Adam’s charitable journey has only just begun.

“He’s amazing. Brian has fanconi anemia and now receives two transfusions a week.

“Adam has been amazing with him and a great emotional support to me. He’s done more emotionally than money ever could.”

Background

Adam Kerr (12) first began his charitable work after donating bone marrow to his young sister Helen (3) — then aged just six.

Following her death he has gone on to raise money for cancer charities and provide support to his family and friends.

His efforts were rewarded in October this year when the schoolboy was given the National Hero award at the “4Children and Take a Break Magazine UK Family Heroes Awards” at a lavish event in London.

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