BRAVE little leukaemia sufferer Joseph Powell is a true child hero, according to his proud family.

The four-year-old, from Acomb, was born with Down's Syndrome in October 2000, and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was just two.

Now he has been nominated for one of our Community Pride awards by his devoted brothers and sisters for his courage in facing up to his illness.

Daniel, nine, Harriet, seven, and Lucy, 11 months, supported by parents Liz and Ken, have all put forward their brother's name for Child Of The Year in our awards scheme.

They said: "We think Joseph should be voted Child Of The Year because he is so brave and continues to bounce back from treatment. Joseph seems to spread joy and pleasure wherever he goes and has been an inspiration to many people. He has certainly changed our lives for the better."

At a very young age Joseph was often in hospital with chest infections, and spent some of his early months wearing a neck collar and hearing aids.

He had only just begun to walk when he fell ill with leukaemia, spending weeks in the intensive care unit at St James's Hospital in Leeds.

Now he is still undergoing a gruelling three-and-a-half year programme of chemotherapy, has an intravenous tube inserted into his chest and travels to hospital in Leeds once a week.

Mum Liz, 39, said: "He's fantastic, he really is. It breaks my heart. I don't think I'd cope with what he has to. Now he's so used to it - he's very accepting."

Do you know any courageous youngsters like Joseph who have faced up to adversity? Why not nominate them for the Child Of The Year category of our awards?

We are on the hunt for more of York's community heroes - the people whose unstinting efforts to help others make a real difference. We want to hear about people from all walks of life, from hard-working community groups and enterprising school projects to heroes from the health service and world of sport.

To send your nominations, fill in the entry form on this page, remembering to include the category for which you are entering, and giving reasons on no more than two sides of A4. You will need to hurry - the deadline for all entries is July 15. Our judges will select three finalists in each category, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on October 20. We still need sponsors for our awards. Phone Nigel Briggs on 01904 567168, or email

Updated: 10:51 Wednesday, July 06, 2005