A TERMINALLY ill young Mallow boy is among only eight Irish children - selected from hundreds of nominations - to receive one of the country's top bravery awards.
Just over two years ago little Liam Lynch was just like any other typical seven-year-old, laughing, joking and enjoying life to the full. However, his life and the lives of his family were turned upside down one morning after Liam woke up to find that he could not move his legs.
The plucky young boy was subsequently diagnosed with an inoperable spinal tumour, spending months in hospital and eventually being confined full-time to a wheelchair.
His family was faced with the kind of heartbreak that very few people can understand and despite Liam's condition they vowed to keep their home life as normal as possible.
Speaking to The Corkman last July, Liam's aunt Viki said that despite her nephew's life threatening condition he still manages to live life to the full.
"He is a really happy boy who loves his computers. The family are always on the go, visiting people and keeping life as normal as possible," she said.
Viki nominated Liam for the Share A Dream Foundation's 2012 National Children of Courage Awards.
'Liam's story, like so many others, is heart breaking as we do not know how long we will have Liam around,' Viki wrote on her nomination. 'But, after all he has been through; he always has a smile and a joke for you. His outlook and enjoyment of life is an inspiration.'
Asked by award organisers to explain why she believed Liam deserved the nomination, Viki described him and his family as "quite amazing".
'After all (they have been through) and with an uncertain future, most people would be down, but not Liam and his family who are always looking on the bright side of life,' wrote Viki.
She told of how Liam's father David found an old buggy while out walking the dog, took it home and made trailer that Liam can hook up to his electronic Go Go wheelchair. "He gives friends trips around the garden, laughing in that wonderful carefree way that is so enjoyable to hear," she said.
She said that this year he "did it in style", painting his Go Go in the classic green and yellow John Deere livery, before taking it up to the National Ploughing Championships.
'He loved it, the independence of it and, of course, being cool. Liam's outlook on life is an inspiration to us all,' Viki added.
Liam will receive his National Child of Courage Award at a gala Dream Ball in the Limerick Radisson Blu hotel on Saturday, December 8.