Tom’s Trust Young Ambassadors Mimi Clarke and her brother Flint Clarke have both won awards for their incredible efforts in supporting Tom’s Trust at the Inspirational YoungStars Awards.
Mimi, 13, and Flint, 15, have been active in supporting the work of Tom’s Trust, which provides mental health support to children with brain tumours and their families to help improve their quality of life and wellbeing.
Mimi won the Outstanding Bravery Award for the incredible courage she has shown over the past decade battling a brain tumour and coping with the resulting disabilities which have come from her treatments, all the while continue to support Tom’s Trust in any way she can.
Her brother Flint won the Exceptional Achievement Award for the incredible lengths he went to this year to raise £15,000 for Tom’s Trust, in which he cycled across France as the youngest ever competitor in an ultra-endurance race.
Together, the siblings won the Brightest Star Award for their amazing achievements and unwavering bravery.
The youngsters, who are from Bishop’s Stortford, attended the awards ceremony at Cambridge United on Friday 30 June 2023 and collected their awards in front of their proud parents Yvette and Matthew Clarke.
Yvette said: “Both Matthew and I are incredibly proud of Flint and Mimi for winning these awards, and it was so wonderful to attend the awards ceremony. They have shown us how resilient they are in life and take every setback or change in life as a new challenge to make it a change for the better.”
Debs Mitchell, Co-Founder of Tom’s Trust, said: “We are so excited to see Flint and Mimi with the Inspirational YoungStars Awards and get the recognition they deserve. They are amazing young people who not only have been through so much in their young lives, but have chosen despite adversity to give back to Tom’s Trust as a charity. They are true heroes, and we are absolutely thrilled to see them win their awards.”
Flint was riding the ‘The Unknown Race’ in April in honour of Mimi. The race, which started in Lyon, was a true test of grit, bravery and fitness, and competitors were only alerted to the location of the first checkpoint one hour before the start. All subsequent checkpoints were revealed at the next, until the 1,000km distance was completed.
Flint was competing in the race with his dad Matthew, 47, and was the youngest person to ever participate in the challenge, however the pair experienced a catalogue of mechanical failures forcing them to reluctantly retire from the race just as they were about to start the last day of the race.
Flint raised more than £15,000 for Tom’s Trust, a children’s brain tumour charity which supports families with mental health care through, which is enough to help 12 children for and their parents and siblings for a year.
Mimi was diagnosed with a pilomyxoid astrocytoma brain tumour in 2013, when she just three. She endured surgery and chemotherapy to battle her tumour, but despite becoming stable, relapsed in 2017. She then had proton beam radiation in Florida. After this, Mimi was stable for a couple of years before developing a new tumour nodule in the radiated area. Chemotherapy was no longer as option, so in March 2021 this nodule was removed. She has recovered well from this surgery and the family are hopeful she stays stable, although she still needs ongoing help and support. The Clarke family have been supported by a Tom’s Trust psychologist since Mimi’s diagnosis, and have been giving back to the charity ever since.
Mimi has left side dystonia from her first surgery, which is a medical term for a range of movement disorder that cause muscle spasms and contractions. Mimi walks with limp and sometimes uses a wheelchair. The teenager has no control over her left arm, which she calls her ‘lazy arm’. She also has to take growth hormones as having cancer at such a young age affected her development, as well as medication for hypothyroidism and hydrocortisone tablets. Some recent hip pain turned out to be a condition called acetabular dysplasia, which puts excessive pressure on her hip joint.
Yvette said: “Despite all of Mimi’s daily challenges, she is a remarkably happy girl. She is so positive.”
To find out more about Tom’s Trust go to www.tomstrust.org.uk
Our impact at a glance
- Tom’s Trust provides mental health, wellbeing and psychological support to 371 children (0-19) and their families (around 1,100 additional family members) in the UK.
- Sadly one third of children will die and of those that survive, 62% will be left with life-long disabilities (such as blindness, hearing loss, lost motor-function or learning disabilities).
- Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children under 16, representing one third of all childhood cancer deaths.
- Every year 1,400 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer, approximately 500 of these have brain tumours.
- Early intervention with support Tom’s Trust provides reduces the likelihood of long-term disabilities (NHS England neuro-rehabilitation service specification 2014) and provides the best chance for children to get back to school, resume their lives and go on to achieve their full potential.
- £1,200 supports one child and up to three family members for a year.