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Neave Alderson

Location : Peterborough, Ontario Canada

Nominated By : Megan

My biggest inspiration came in the form of a 7-pound, 11-ounce package, my sister birthed thirteen years ago. Her name is Neave, and I am blessed to call her my niece. Her name is Gaelic, meaning “bright or radiant one”. She is most certainly that. She came built-in with strong will and even stronger values. She has relied on those qualities more than anyone could have predicted.

When Neave was a vibrant 8-year-old girl, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that affected her right femur. She was whisked from a summer pool party to the back of an ambulance, and her life was never the same again.

She underwent countless rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries to remove the tumour and rebuild her leg. Gratefully, the cancer is gone, though her journey with debilitating pain continues. Through Sick Kids, she has made and lost friends, (her photo features her friend Emma). She has missed out on many childhood rites of passage. Yet, she continues to shine.

Neave is different. Not because of her struggles, but in spite of them. She is wise beyond her years. In her 13 years on this planet, she has learned more about what is important in life than many people learn in their lifetime. She is quietly empathetic, seeing in others what people often miss seeing in her. She writes about “real superheroes”- the doctors, nurses and patients who fight to survive. She uses her allowance to create care packages for the homeless. She befriends kids who are overlooked and mistreated. She is the kind of person we would all be lucky to have on our side.

She is my teacher and my soul friend. She has broken my heart wide-open. I cannot wait to see what beautiful mark she leaves on this world.