A BRAVE teenager who has battled against a debilitating and painful illness has received a national award.
Jade Whitehouse, aged 14, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was still at primary school. In 2005 she had stomach surgery to combat the wasting condition and spent several months in hospital.
Despite her many trials, the Hollywood youngster has remained optimistic and was determined to return to horse-riding, swimming and her other favourite activities
Now her determination has been recognised and she has been named the overall winner of the 2008 Great Comeback Awards.
Jade said: “I am so happy to have won this award and be able to share my experiences with other young people. Before my surgery I experienced a lot of pain and lost a lot of weight.
“Afterwards I was determined to return to school and carry on with the activities that I love, like horse-riding, swimming, dancing and acting. I feel so proud to have won and look forward to continuing with my hobbies.”
The Great Comeback Awards recognise patients who have battled against a range of intestinal diseases.
Judges were impressed by Jade’s positive attitude and giving nature. During her lengthy recovery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Jade befriended and offered advice to a young girl who was due to have the same operation as she had.
The sporty teenager has also worked hard to catch up with the schoolwork she missed.
Crohn’s Disease affects 1 in every 700 people and can develop in any part of the digestive system. Although there is no cure for the illness, there are treatments. To find out more go to www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Crohns-disease.