A brave boy who has fought a decade-long cancer battle has celebrated his 13th birthday – a milestone which his loved ones feared he would never see.
Brandon Ballance, from Amble, became a teenager on Sunday and marked the occasion with a bash at his family home.
The youngster has endured a long-running fight with cancer after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain-stem tumour when he was just two.
He has suffered a tough ordeal ever since, including rigorous bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
So his mother Sarah Nicholson, 37, admitted it was an emotional time to see her courageous son, nicknamed The Champ by his loved ones, reach his 13th birthday.
“We are so proud of him because he has come such a long way,” she told the Gazette.
“There have been times when we feared that he would not make it to his teenage years, but he is a fighter and to get as far as this is amazing.
“We make every day special because you don’t know what is round the corner.”
Brandon’s tumour is currently stable and Sarah is buoyed by his current state, saying he feels energetic, is looking better and eating well.
Unfortunately for Brandon, his birthday plans had to be changed last minute after he fell and tore ligaments in his foot. But he was still able to celebrate and was given a specially-made cake by Alnwick’s Plumb & Rabbitts Cake Studio.
Sarah said he will have another birthday once he has made a recovery.
Earlier this year, she made an impassioned call for cannabis oil to be legalised in the UK for medicinal purposes, including treating cancer patients.