A LITTLE boy who has faced a daunting list of health challenges in his young life has been given a special award.

Harry Tinham, who lives in Harnham with his parents Kate and Nick, was born with Down’s syndrome and when he was just four months old needed open heart surgery to correct a faulty valve.

Then, just when his parents thought they were through the worst, Harry, now 19 months, was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Mrs Tinham, 37, said: “It was a bit of a shock. It all happened so quickly,”

Harry started chemotherapy at Southampton General Hospital in November and Mrs Tinham describes the way he has coped as “truly unbelievable”.

She is staying with her son at the hospital while Mr Tinham, 29, is there as much as possible around his job as a mental health recovery worker.

“It is hard being apart but we just have to get on with it,” said Mrs Tinham. “Harry has coped so well with the intensive treatment, which will hopefully clear him of leukaemia. “You would never think to see him what he has been through. He is always smiling which helps Nick and I to cope. “He is a very sociable little boy and he loves the attention he gets from the nurses.” Harry has been chosen to receive a Cancer Research UK Little Star Award in recognition of the challenges he has faced while fighting cancer.

Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK’s spokesman for Wiltshire, said: “Harry has been through so much in his young life and he still manages to smile. I believe people reading about Harry will be very moved by his courage.

“He richly deserves his Little Star Award.”

Mrs Tinham added: “Harry is such a brave little boy and is very strong. Nothing fazes or stops him. He is truly unbelievable”.

Every child nominated for a Little Star Award receives the accolade.

And Harry also received a £50 TK Maxx gift card from the award sponsor, as well as a certificate signed by celebrities including pop stars Emeli Sande and Beverley Knight; Strictly Come Dancing stars Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor; England footballers Kyle Walker, James Milner and Leighton Baines; TV presenter Lisa Riley and CBeebies presenters Justin Fletcher, Phil Gallagher (aka Mr Maker) and Sid Sloane.

The public can show their support for children with cancer by nominating a Little Star at cruk.org/littlestar.