A Derry teenager who captured the hearts of thousands of people at home and abroad as she battled cancer has been posthumously celebrated for her bravery.
Alexandra Johnston, the courageous 16-year-old who lost her battle with a rare cancer earlier this year, won the outstanding bravery category award at this year’s Derry Journal People of the Year Awards.
The annual awards pay homage to those people and organisations who have gone the extra mile and who are an asset in everything they do.
There were fourteen categories which covered all aspects of community life and the awards ceremony took place last Friday night in the Everglades Hotel.
Alexandra won the outstanding bravery award, sponsored by Taggart Homes, after a public vote and her proud parents Karen and Andre collected the accolade.
Alexandra was diagnosed with metastatic Ewings Sarcoma cancer in August 2013 and was given between three and six months to live.
After fighting cancer for four and a half years, she sadly passed away in January this year, a short time after her 16th birthday.
Beating the odds continuously throughout her illness, Alexandra was a beacon of inspiration to everyone she met.
Alexandra did so much to raise awareness of childhood cancer and never complained, despite receiving over 100 doses of chemotherapy, 50 of radiotherapy as well as stem cell replacement.
Just a few weeks before she passed away, Alexandra asked her father to start a charity in her name, to continue helping families, especially fathers, when a child is diagnosed with cancer.
‘Just keep swimming Yaya’, the name of Alexandra’s social media account where she documented her journey, has been adopted as the name of the charity.