The selfless, brave and exceptional achievements of an inspirational Belton teenager have been recognised with a national award.
Jack Marshall, 16, was born with Moebius Syndrome, an extremely rare condition which means he has no facial nerves and has difficulties pronouncing some sounds. He has no cerebellum which means he has no balance,is blind in his left eye and wears bi-lateral hearing aids.
However, despite his difficulties Jack has raised tens of thousands of pounds for a variety of charities by completing a number of events including the Great North and Great Manchester runs.
And for his efforts he has won BBC Radio 1’s Teen Heroes of 2014 ‘The Stephen Sutton Teen Hero Award’. This is a one off award in partnership with Stephen Sutton’s family, to recognise an individual who has led a sustained campaign to raise funds, often in difficult personal circumstances. He was nominated by family friend Grace Mainon of Crowle.
Jack’s mum Linda said this week: “He’s actually incredibly humble, I’ve never seen this side of him. He’s overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
“He’s been fundraising for nine years and it’s just what he does. I don’t think there will ever be an icing to the cake because he’ll never stop - he’s planning a parachute jump next - I’m proud of him every single day.”
Jack’s achievements have included climbing Snowdon in April with Emmerdale cast members, walking up Pen-y-gent, completing a number of runs including the Junior Great Manchester Run and he was selected to carry the Olympic torch during the 2012 relay. His ultimate aim is to climb Kilimanjaro.
Jack found out about his award when he had a surprise visit from Radio 1 breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw, who turned up at his Green Lane home.
He will receive the accolade at Radio 1’s Teen Awards on Sunday where stars from the world of music, entertainment, sport and online will also be honoured. The Vamps, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande, Rixton, Ella Henderson and Labrinth will all perform at the annual event, now in its fifth year. They will complete the dazzling line up at what is one of the biggest events in the pop music calendar, with an audience of more than 9,000 14-17 year olds.
Jane Sutton, Stephen’s mum said, “My son Stephen was courageous and inspirational. His selfless fundraising and positive attitude to life touched countless hearts across the world and the huge outpouring of love and support he received in return helped him throughout his journey.
“Stephen would have been really honoured to have a Radio 1 Teen Hero award named after him.”