11:14 Wednesday 04 December 2013

Brave Paige lights up Christmas switch-on


AN 11-year-old cancer survivor outshone celebrity guests at a hospital Christmas lights switch-on.

Paige Taylor, from Measham, starred at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she flicked the switch to kick-off the unit’s festive celebrations.

Although she was joined by ex So Solid Crew member Lisa Maffia and former X Factor hopeful Joseph Whelan, all eyes were on brave Paige, who is now in better health having being diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, a type of kidney cancer, last year.

The youngster has been made the face of the Christmas fund-raising campaign at the hospital where she received her treatment.

As well as illuminating the hospital’s 30ft tree, Paige also got to visit Santa in a grotto which was specially-built by members of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, while the hospital choir also put on a performance alongside Whelan who also played for the crowd.

Having undergone a traumatic couple of years, Paige only had Christmas on her mind.

She was joined at the event by her mum, sister and grandma and described the day as ‘amazing’.

She also said a big thank you to the staff who had treated her during her time at the unit.

Following the switch-on, the hospital’s chief executive Sarah-Jane Marsh said: “It was heart-warming to see so many children and families come outside and brave the winter weather for our Christmas lights switch-on and Santa’s grotto.

“It really did put a smile on so many faces to sing some carols, watch our huge Christmas tree light up and receive an early Christmas present from Santa.”

The event is a regular celebration in the hospital’s calendar to bring some festive cheer to young patients.

Miss Marsh added: “Christmas is such an important time of year for us at Birmingham Children’s Hospital as there are many children whose Christmases will be very different.

“They might be too poorly to write their letter to Santa or may even have to spend Christmas Day here on one of our wards. It can be tough for the whole family, but events like this help to bring Christmas into our hospital, spreading the joy of this very special time of year.”

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