'Miracle' teen Joshua ready for school after cancer treatment
The family of a Northern Ireland teenager courageously battling cancer brought joy to his legion of supporters after pictures of him heading back to school were posted on social media.
The heart-warming picture of Donaghadee boy Joshua Martin dressed in his Bangor Grammar School uniform was posted on his mother Kim's Facebook page with the words: "Our miracle boy, thanking God today, by His stripes Joshua is healed".
The 14-year-old was pictured yesterday smiling broadly in his school blazer and tie, attracting many dozens of tributes from his supporters, who have grown from a local audience to well-wishers right across the world.
The joyful news accompanying the picture follows a rigorous round of radiotherapy earlier this month at Belfast City Hospital, when Mrs Martin said her inspirational son "smiled" through his treatment.
The family of the teen, who was diagnosed with cancer last Christmas Eve, had appealed this summer for the public to concentrate their prayers for Josh at 11am - the time he was being treated.
Prayers have been integral to the family's way of dealing with the nightmare, with their appeal, #PrayforJosh, drawing support from far and wide, among ordinary people and sporting stars alike, including golfer Sergio Garcia, who sent his best via Twitter.
The social media appeal got under way shortly after Joshua's diagnosis last December, and the response has helped his parents through a "horrific year".
He has undergone nearly eight months of treatment, countless surgeries and chemotherapy.
"Joshua is always smiling no matter what he has been through," his proud mother recently revealed.
"But he is 14 and it does my heart good to see what he is going through and how he copes.
"I've never seen or heard him complain or even get angry."
And she added: "He just loves life and he appreciates everything."