ROSE Willavise has been named as the winner of the Pride of Gwent Child of Courage Award.

Four-year-old Rose from Newport was a happy and healthy child until a stage four cancer diagnosis this February turned her world upside down.

Tests revealed she was suffering from acute lymphatic leukaemia (ALL) – the most common form of blood cell cancer. She started chemotherapy that month.

South Wales Argus: Pride of Gwent Awards 2023

Despite her intensive two-year treatment regime, Rose has soldiered on with a smile on her face and enough courage to make the whole of Gwent proud.

She will receive the Child of Courage Award - sponsored by Coleg Gwent - today, Thursday, December 7, at the Pride of Gwent winners’ ceremony.

Rose’s life has changed in other ways since the diagnosis as she became the “best big sister” to baby Evan and started school.

South Wales Argus: Rose went to school smiling and ready to make friends

“Rose started school with no hair at all, but she managed to start the first day with everyone else, smiling and ready to make friends,” mum Grace Willavise says.

“She averages three or four days a week and the school have been really supportive. It’s still back and forth the hospital at the moment.”

Rose’s remarkable courage has inspired others to “bend over backwards” in support of children’s cancer charities, with the family counting more than £6,000 worth of donations this year alone.

The Pride of Gwent Awards are held in association with  ND Care & Support. The family are looking forward to the ceremony as a rare moment of respite after so much difficulty and pain.

“She missed her birthday and school photos. She’s missed out on so much and it’s so nice to have something special,” says Ms Willavise.

South Wales Argus:

“This Child of Courage Award means she’ll have something special to hold onto in the difficult times ahead. It also shows how brave all the children are on the Rainbow ward at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.

“Although she has been through more pain and trauma in her four years than most adults have in their lifetime, she has the extraordinary ability to smile and play throughout.

“She knows exactly what’s going on. I’m so proud of her – she has been so brave throughout and her courage is inspirational to us all.”