The courage of British children who have faced cancer is to be recognized with a unique award backed by celebrities including Rihanna, Leona Lewis, the Jonas Brothers and footballers Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas.

Cancer Research UK has launched its annual Little Star Awards, in partnership with labels-for-less retailer, TK Maxx. Relatives and friends of young cancer patients or survivors from across the UK are being urged to nominate them now for special recognition in the run up to Christmas. All Little Stars receive a special trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card and certificate signed by their favourite celebrities.

“The children that the Little Star awards celebrate really are special,” said Rihanna. “They’ve been through so much at such a young age and the way they cope with it is a real inspiration to me. I’m so honoured to be able to support this campaign. I know that incredible advances have been made in treatments for children’s cancer, but we still need to do more to raise awareness and improve survival even more.”

Last year 300 children from across the UK received a Little Star Award. Unlike many other children’s awards, there is no judging panel because Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx believe each and every child who confronts cancer is extra special.

“I am delighted to be helping to celebrate the courage of children with cancer by backing Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards,” said Leona Lewis. “More children than ever before are surviving cancer thanks to research and I believe the awards are a great way of raising awareness and highlighting the progress that is being made.”

Cancer Research UK is the largest single funder of research into children’s cancer in the UK having spent more than £9 million last year. The charity has been at the heart of huge advances in treatments. In the 1960s around a quarter of children with cancer survived, whereas today three quarters survive. That progress being made by the charity, coupled with determination to improve survival rates still further, inspired TK Maxx to get together with Cancer Research UK, who they have partnered with since 2004. TK Maxx has already raised a staggering £9 million to help beat children’s cancer.

To nominate a Little Star email littlestar@cancer.org.uk or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/littlestar. The awards are open to all under 18s who have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

“We are delighted to be supporting Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards,” say the Jonas Brothers. “It’s so important to recognise the bravery of children who have been diagnosed with cancer – every one of them is a hero to us.”

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