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Siblings look back on double win at Moray and Banffshire Heroes


By Kyle Ritchie

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An Elgin brother and sister who have both had to deal with difficult health issues throughout their young lives were recognised at the last Moray and Banffshire Heroes event.

Jack Walker (11) and Sarah Walker (16) won their respective categories at the event which was held in Brodie Countryfare.

Jack won the Primary Pupil of the Year award which proved to be an evening to remember for the Greenwards Primary School student.

Winner of the Primary Pupil of the Year award Jack Walker at the 2023 Moray and Banffshire Hero Awards. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Winner of the Primary Pupil of the Year award Jack Walker at the 2023 Moray and Banffshire Hero Awards. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Since the age of five he has had to deal with a rare health condition.

Mum Maggie said: "Jack has ITP (immune thrombocytopenia purpura) and was diagnosed when he was in primary one.

"Essentially it is an autoimmune disorder where his body eats up its own platelets which makes him at risk of bleeding or if he is injured Jack's at risk of internal bleeding.

"Jack knows what he can and cannot do and he knows he has got to be careful."

Despite the condition it has not held Jack back too much at school or in life.

He enjoys playing football and participates as much as he can.

The next step for him will be Elgin High School and he has ambitions to become a pilot.

For Maggie to see Jack and Sarah winning the awards it was a very proud moment for her.

She said: "Both of them have had more than most to cope with in their life and they have dealt with it really well.

"The Moray and Banffshire Heroes was a fantastic event and it was very well organised.

"Jack and Sarah loved every minute of the evening and we had a brilliant time.

"It was really humbling to hear the other stories from the people who had won awards and were nominated.

"It was great that Jack and Sarah had been nominated and that there was recognition that through adversity they had shone and had coped really well with what life had given to them.

"As a family we were able to make memories and enjoy ourselves.

"I would encourage people to nominate if they know someone who deserves to be recognised."

Meanwhile, Jack's sister Sarah won the Brave Child of the Year award.

The former Elgin High School pupil was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) due to an inoperable brain tumour when she was just eight years old, and she required brain surgery to save her life.

Winner of the Brave Child of the Year Award Sarah Walker at the 2023 Moray and Banffshire Hero Awards. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Winner of the Brave Child of the Year Award Sarah Walker at the 2023 Moray and Banffshire Hero Awards. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Sarah has spent the years after dealing with physical and mental rehabilitation, MRI scans, chronic headaches, memory loss and has also had to relearn the use of her left side.

This meant she missed out on some school, but despite her health challenges, Sarah managed to successfully return to complete her exams and spend time with friends.

Sarah continues to do well, has now left school and started working.

The Primary Pupil of the Year award is sponsored by GrainTek.

The Brave Child of the Year award is sponsored by The Good Sleep Company.

Nominations have now opened for 2024's Moray and Banffshire Heroes Awards.

Send your nominations by clicking here or visiting: www.hnmedia.co.uk/morayheroes


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