Lost boy put his pal first
THEY are among the north’s unsung heroes.
Everyday people who have overcome personal adversity and who have shown incredible inner strength to better the lives of those around them.
Burdekin cancer crusader and country crooner Keely Johnson has raised almost $ 500,000 in the fight against childhood disease.
In April, she also founded charity the Golden Octopus Foundation, which supports oncology families and fundraisers for organisations who research finding a cure for childhood cancer.
Keely, who suffers a rare blood cancer herself, has been nominated for a Pride of Australia Child of Courage Medal, which recognises those aged 16 years or under who have overcome adversity through strength of character or helped save, or attempted to save, a life.
From a courageous health battle, to battling the elements, little Nicholas Baxter gave the shirt off his own back to help save his mate Timmy Carter after the pair spent a harrowing 22 hours lost and alone on a Wulguru hill.
The pint- sized neighbours set off on an “adventure” in late May but became lost. In their bid to stay alive, Nicholas gave his shirt to Timmy to help him stay warm and carved arrows in the dirt for his father to help find them. Nicholas has also been nominated for a Pride of Australia Child of Courage Medal.
Nicholas’s mother Colleen Stormonth said once the cuts and bruises disappeared, her energetic son had bounced back quite quickly.
But he still remains quite attached when it comes to leaving his family.
“He went back to school about a week after he was found and he has been coping quite well,” Ms Stormonth said.
“He can still cry at the drop of a hat and he is constantly asking if we’re OK.”
Ms Stormonth said she was shocked a member of the community nominated her son for his bravery as she was still so grateful for all the helpful offers to find Nicholas and Timmy.
“We were quite surprised what they were capable of out there,” she said. “A lot of people were touched by our story. But it was the best- case scenario to get him back in my arms.”
Angela Grieve, who lost her son Regan to suicide earlier this year, has lobbied the National Rugby League to devote more time and resources addressing the mental health of young players.
Ms Grieve has been vocal about the issue, determined to prevent other families from suffering the same pain and calling for greater funding for highly trained welfare officers.
Ms Grieve has been nominated for a Courage Medal, for those who have overcome personal adversity through determination and strength of character. Nominations for Pride of Australia close tomorrow. The finalists will be announced on August 30. To nominate, go to townsvillebulletin. com. au/ prideofaustralia
YOUNG ADVENTURER: Nicholas Baxter has been nominated for a Pride of Australia Child of Courage Medal.
HEARTACHE: Angela Grieve is up for a Courage Medal for her work raising awareness of the mental health of young footballers following the death of her son Regan.
CANCER CRUSADER: Keely Johnson has been nominated for a Child of Courage Medal for her fight against cancer and her fundraising efforts.