Top bravery award for Leeds teenager as she raises money in memory of lost loved one

She is the inspirational Leeds teenager whose courage in the face of tragedy and loss is testament to the indefatigable spirit of youth.

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 8:00 am

Chloe Thompson, 13, is already a hero in her own household, having acted as a stem cell donor in 2017 for her little sister, Summer Rose, who was suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia.

The transplant at first seemed to have had the desired effect, but Summer's health then deteriorated and she lost her fight for life a few months later, aged just two.

Chloe, who comes from Old Farnley and is a member of the 8th South-West Leeds Scouting Group, has since channelled her grief into a determination to help others, throwing herself into fundraising and a series of charity challenges.

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Chloe Thompson, from Old Farnley, Leeds who is fundraising in memory of her sister, Summer, a leukaemia sufferer who died aged two in 2017. Pictured with her parents Gareth and Becky.

Now the Farnley Academy pupil's selflessness has been given one of the scouting movement's most prestigious honours.

Chloe was nominated for the Meritorious Conduct medal by her granddad, Wayne Monaghan, with the award being approved by the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

And, typically, rather than spending time congratulating herself on the recognition, she simply hopes her story will encourage more people to put themselves forward as potential stem cell donors.

Chloe told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "When my granddad first mentioned the award, I didn't see what I was doing as brave or special.

"I just assumed it was one of those things anyone would do, hoping to save a sister.

"I didn't donate the stem cells to receive an award, but to be given a top medal in scouting is such an honour.

"I really hope my story inspires people to join the stem cell register and raises awareness."

Summer was diagnosed with leukaemia in January 2017, having already endured a hugely-traumatic start to life.

She was born with a heart murmur and underwent nine hours of open heart surgery at a year old.

She was also diagnosed in April 2016 with Noonan Syndrome, a genetic condition that can cause a range of serious health problems.

Fittingly, Chloe's fundraising efforts since losing her sister have benefited both the Noonan Syndrome Association and Leeds-based children's cancer charity Candlelighters.

She and her family received what they describe as "wonderful" support from Candlelighters during Summer's battle against leukaemia.

Chloe's charity heroics are now set to continue in June when she tackles a 60ft abseil down the Michael Sadler Building at the University of Leeds.

But she is not the only member of the Thompson family who is busy setting a stirring example on the right way to live life.

Her sisters Lauren, 20, Ellie, 16, Emma, nine, and Christa, seven, all regularly support good causes, with two-year-old Hope seemingly certain to do her bit as well when she gets older.

Mum Becky and dad Gareth are also keen fundraisers and organise an annual Summer Day's celebration in memory of their late daughter at New Farnley Community Centre.

Becky, who is expecting another baby at the end of this month, told the YEP: "We are beyond proud of the girls - we constantly have people telling us how thoughtful they are, which is lovely to hear.

"They don't expect any attention for anything they do, they just do it because they want to help and raise awareness.

"It doesn't help us get over Summer dying, that never gets any easier and she is constantly on our minds. What it does do, though, is give us a focus and keep us busy."

The Thompsons have asked people to visit the and websites to learn more about childhood cancer and the importance of finding new stem cell donors.

They are also encouraging YEP readers to get an insight into the work of Candlelighters and the Noonan Syndrome Association by visiting the and websites respectively.