A SIX-year-old boy from Southampton has won an award for bravery during his leukaemia treatment.

Jaden Stewart was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after his mum, Laura, noticed how tired he was when he returned to school after lockdown in June 2020.

He endured countless days in hospital, suffered a stroke, had emergency on his brain, and now has daily chemotherapy at home, all of which led to Jaden winning a national award for his bravery.

His resilience in the face of adversity has also been recognised by the cast of Southampton’s pantomime, which includes Strictly Come Dancing Judge Craig Revel Horwood.

Laura, 41, who nominated Jaden for the Star Award from Cancer Research UK, said: "These awards are there because children deserve them. I’ve watched him go through hell and back and he just gets on with it.

"Jaden’s never ever asked 'why me?', 'why don’t my friends have this?'. He’s a really positive child and why shouldn’t he deserve an extra award?"

Daily Echo: Jaden Stewart and his mum Laura with Sooty, a star of the pantomime Cinderella in SouthamptonJaden Stewart and his mum Laura with Sooty, a star of the pantomime Cinderella in Southampton

When the Mayflower Theatre heard about Jaden's win, the cast of the pantomime Cinderella wanted to give him his own star treatment with a trip to the show and some special messages.

Craig Revel Horwood said: "I’m sending this to say congratulations on your Star Award. How brilliant is that? Be fabulous and I’m going to give you a 10 out of 10."

Debbie McGee, who plays the Fairy Godmother, said: "Well done for being so brave with everything you’ve been through – it’s a real help to all your family.

"Have a lovely Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you want."

The award is a beacon of light in the darkness for Jaden's family.

Speaking on Jaden's diagnosis, Laura said: "It was horrendous. The doctor said: 'I’m afraid we do think it’s leukaemia.'

"They transferred us to oncology and then I first heard the word cancer used to describe Jaden’s illness and just couldn’t understand how something like this could happen to him. It was all a bit of a blur.

"He spent a full month in hospital but then he suffered a stroke and was rushed into the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for a few days, and then we continued in hospital for a second month.

"At the end of October, he had to have scans to check his brain following the stroke in order to continue treatment. The doctors then discovered he had an abscess on his brain so he had to have emergency surgery. He is now at home and having daily chemotherapy."

Jaden now requires ongoing treatment until August 2023.

Through the Star Awards, the charity hopes to shine a light on some of the challenges faced by children like Jaden.

Elisa Mitchell, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South Central region, said: "Jaden is a real star who has been through so much at such a young age. It has been an absolute privilege to be able to celebrate his courage with a Star Award.

"We’re urging people in Southampton to nominate inspirational children like Jaden now, so that many more affected by this devastating disease can receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve."