Brave Maxine wins award - for Lex

Maxine Strong with actress Michelle Collins and daughter Olivia at London.
Maxine Strong with actress Michelle Collins and daughter Olivia at London.

Courageous Isle mum Maxine Strong has received a special award, just weeks after the loss of her much-loved young son Lex.

Maxine, of Burnham Road, Epworth, travelled down to London on Saturday, to be presented with the Inspirational Mother and Son Award 2013, given by the Caron Keating Foundation that was started by Caron’s mother, presenter Gloria Hunniford.

The 45-year-old was nominated by a family friend, Hayley Acker, to honour the amazing bond she shared with son Alexander, who died on January 25 this year from neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.

Actress Michelle Collins handed an astonished Max and her daughter, nine-year old Olivia, the trophy, at a glittering Mayfair Hotel celebration.

Maxine said: “It was a whirlwind weekend. I only found out last Thursday I’d been nominated. I even got up on stage and made a speech, that’s not like me. People were visibly taken aback when they realised we have now lost Lex.”

She added: “The award means the world to me it honestly does. I’ve never won anything before. Lex was the bravest boy and everyone loved him, and this is testament to that.”

Max announced her success on Facebook, and received hundreds of messages of appreciation, from friends who also noted that snow - Lex’s favourite weather - had covered the Isle on Mother’s Day.

Among the many comments were ones from Blue White who said: “Your boy knows and he’s smiling down on you. What an amazing family you really are!”

And Sarah Louise Briggs told her: “Lex is one very proud shining star.”

Gill Pewley added: “Although I don’t know you or your family you totally deserve this award, you have all shown tremendous courage and strength.”

David Harker said: “I can’t think of more deserving winners.”

Fundraising for Lex’s Fund has continued to help families of cancer-stricken children. A chocolate raffle at Leesa’s Sunspot in Epworth was drawn by Max last week, and Victoria Beardshaw of Chester just raised over £150 through a 10k run.

Mark Strong said: “We are grateful to everyone, but we have decided that Lex’s fund will close soon, after which any further fundraising will go directly to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice or the Neuroblastoma Alliance.”