Down’s Syndrome toddler who battled pneumonia and leukemia given charity award – because he won't stop smiling

Max Pedelty has been diagnosed with pneumonia 14 times but it doesn’t stop him grinning

A toddler with Down’s Syndrome who's had pneumonia 14 times and battled leukaemia has been given a special charity award for smiling.

Brave two-year-old Max Pedelty was recognised with a Little Star award by Cancer Research UK because he always has a grin on his face - despite everything he's suffered.

Two-year-old Max Pedelty with his Little Star award © North News Max, from Willington in County Durham, was born with Down’s Syndrome and a hole in his heart. He also suffers from severe hypertonia, which means he is unable to stand.

 [Related: Boy with Down’s Syndrome chosen as new M&S model]

He’s battled pneumonia 14 times and was last year diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells and bone marrow – both of which are needed to fight infection.

But Max continued to smile throughout his six months of chemotherapy at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and he’s now in remission.

“He's had everything against him from the start, but is a happy child,” said Max’s mother Mandy, who nominated him for the Cancer Research UK Little Star award with TK Maxx.

“He went into respiratory failure at one point and in intensive care, even when he was on the ventilators, he was smiling.”

[Related: Childhood cancer and leukaemia risk higher for big babies]

Max’s family, including his parents Trevor and Mandy, 13-year-old older sister Mollie and five-year-old brother, Joe spent a lot of time with him at the hospital while we was having his treatment.

“Max was so popular that patients, families and nurses on the specialist child cancer unit all looked forward to seeing him,” added Mandy.

Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx recognised Max for his bravery and he was given a Little Star award, which are open to under-18s who have been treated for cancer in the last five years.

“Max is a true little star who richly deserves this accolade”, said Paul Wadsworth, Cancer Research Spokesman for the North East of England.