A little girl’s plucky spirit coping with a debilitating brain tumour has won the praise of a charity.
Isabelle Rennie, five, from Northumberland, has undergone surgery, four years of medical treatment and lost movement in her right side and peripheral vision.
Yet the youngster still manages to surprise her parents with her determination to live life to the full and still plays football, dances at ballet classes and horse rides.
Her courage in the face of adversity won her a Brave Heart award and, at a ceremony at St James’ Park in Newcastle, her family celebrated her incredible achievements.
Mum Katie, 39, said: “I was in tears when she got the award and she so deserves it.
“She never grumbles and unbelievably she still manages to say thank you to the nurses when she has chemotherapy. It would be lovely for her to know one day life doesn’t revolve around hospital.”
Isabelle, known as Izzy, who lives at Lesbury near Alnwick, was diagnosed with the tumour just before her second birthday in November 2009 after she began to lose movement on her right side.
Her parents first noticed something was wrong when she had been reaching for something at the breakfast table and needed to use her other hand to support her arm.
After going to the doctors with the initial belief it could be a serious virus, Katie and husband Scott, 41, a squadron leader at RAF Boulmer, were told she had a brain tumour by doctors at Newcastle General Hospital.
Mother-of-three Katie said: “The treatment isn’t designed to get rid of the tumour, it’s just designed to hold it there.
“She is expected to have radiotherapy but we are leaving this for as long as possible because it will damage the learning part of her brain.”
Despite spending most of her childhood on hospital wards, Izzy still manages to attend ballet lessons and “hippotherapy” – pysiotherapy with horses – at a Townfoot Stables at Shilbottle.
“She gets to ride bareback and it’s really helped with her movement.”
Also honoured in the awards was Casey Johnson from Bishop Aukland; Amy Stockill from Stockton; Brad Wilson from Bishop Aukland; Vienna Barras from Darlington; Kimberley Hall from Newton Aycliffe; Heather Patterson from Sunderland; Joshua Thompson from Sunderland; Steven Bradley from Coxhoe; Samee Jassat from Chester-le-Street; Joseph Sinton from Sunderland; Meg Robson from Newcastle; Ivan Varela-Gradwell from Newcastle; Erin Temperley from Bylth; Cobie Woods from St Helen Aukland and Sophie Foster from Shildon.