'Wee Oscar Knox' inspires record number to donate blood at Belfast City Hall
Hundreds of people inspired by five-year-old cancer sufferer Oscar Knox have flocked to Belfast City Hall to give blood.
It was part of a huge blood donation campaign by the NI Blood Transfusion service backed by 'Wee Oscar', as he has become affectionately known, and his family.
The five-year-old has battled an aggressive form of cancer since he was three and in just over a year has had 30 blood transfusions and almost 140 platelet transfusions. Ahead of the event on Monday night, Belfast City Hall was lit up in red.
Leading the way in giving blood for the first time was Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir and DUP Deputy Lord Mayor Christopher Stalford. Mr O Muilleoir said: "I think it may be a record number for the most people seen in one drive. I think that the spirit and courage of the Knox family is also unprecedented."
Little Oscar was unable to attend as he was recovering from a chemotherapy session at the weekend, but his parents said they would show it to him on the news last night.
His dad Stephen said: "The main goal from today was to try and get as many new donors signed up as possible, who will then hopefully become lifetime donors."
Oscar's fight against neuroblastoma has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of people across Northern Ireland and beyond.
He has received support from thousands during his brave fight since being diagnosed with the rare and aggressive childhood cancer in November 2011.Little Oscar Knox is an inspiration Family's joy as Oscar Knox is allowed to return home Wee Oscar makes his Celtic debut
Oscar's parents went public in a bid to raise awareness and funds for his care.
A huge support campaign was launched, backed by celebrities including Olympic medal-winning boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.
Oscar has also received support from the players and management at Glasgow Celtic Football Club.