Leeds girl who lost left leg due to cancer chosen to host Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Star Awards
and live on Freeview channel 276
Anneeka Hussain was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, at just seven years old in July 2019. The tumour was fast-growing and high-grade, therefore Anneeka had to undergo rounds of chemotherapy immunotherapy treatments over the months that followed.
A nine-hour operation resulted in Anneeka losing her left leg and in 2020, she was honoured for courage with a Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Star Award. Two years on, she was selected to present the awards, taking on co-host duties with fellow cancer survivor Connor.
Her mum Kay said: "We’ve always known Anneeka is a star. She loves making her own videos and writing wonderful stories. As soon as I said Cancer Research UK had asked her to be the actual presenter of the show this year, she said a big yes! She likes being the star of the show and now tells everyone she is a celebrity. It was so special to be there in the studio watching her listen to the director, read her links, while putting lots of her own personality in there. I was so proud of her. She loved it so much, she now wants to be a TV presenter when she gets older.
“Our family’s lives were turned upside down when she was diagnosed with cancer. She went through some really tough treatment, and it was hard for me, her dad, Ishitaq, and her brothers to think about her future. But she took it all in her stride and bounced back so fast it amazed us all, including the wonderful medial teams that looked after her.”
Anneeka is now in her final year at Alder Tree Primary Academy in Potternewton and thriving. Her mum added: “Anneeka is doing fantastically well, getting around just fine with her prosthetic leg and has recently taken up swimming. She is in her final year at Alder Tree Primary Academy, Potternewton, loves writing stories and is quite a ‘girly girl’. She’s looking forward to her next challenge – becoming an ‘interior designer’ for her brand-new bedroom – and will be picking things out when we take her for a birthday shopping trip.”
The Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Star awards are open to all children under 18 who have been treated for cancer within the past five years and live in the UK. Because Cancer Research UK believes every child diagnosed with cancer deserves special recognition, there is no judging panel and everyone nominated receives a trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card, a T-shirt and a certificate signed by celebrities. Their siblings also receive a certificate.
Nicki Embleton, a Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Yorkshire, said: “Anneeka is a real star who has been through so much at such a young age. And her enormous courage and strength of character really stands out to put herself in front of the camera in order to help others. She really is the perfect host and I hope she will inspire and give hope to other children and their families facing cancer.
“As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re reflecting on the progress made in the fight against the disease, but there’s still much further to go. Cancer in children and young people is different to cancer in adults, from the types of cancer to the impact of treatment - and many youngsters may experience serious long-term side effects. That’s why we’re supporting dedicated research to ensure more children and young people survive cancer with a good quality of life.
“We’re urging people in across Yorkshire to nominate incredible children like Anneeka for a Star Award now, so that many more affected by this devastating disease can receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve.”