St Martin heart transplant teenager receives prestigious award

Falmouth Packet: St Martin heart transplant teenager receives prestigious Diana Award St Martin heart transplant teenager receives prestigious Diana Award

A teenager who came back from a heart transplant to raise £28,000 for charity has been honoured with a prestigious Diana Award.

Fifteen-year-old Jemma Webb, from St Martin, has been named Diana Champion Fundraiser for her support of Bristol Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

Her efforts have subsequently had an unanticipated benefit when Jemma's 13-year-old brother Michael developed the same dilated cardoimyopathy condition she suffered back in 2011, and he was forced to undergo a heart transplant himself during the summer holidays.

Now making good progress in his recovery, Michael has used some of the exercise equipment at the Great Ormond Street physiotherapy transplant gym that was bought with the money Jemma raised and donated.

Mullion School, where Jemma is a pupil, described her as a “quiet and unassuming young lady” who was passionate about raising money to help others who faced the same difficult and testing health issues.

Kevin Gilbert, key stage four director, said: “We at Mullion School are obviously extremely proud of what Jemma has achieved. I am sure that this award will encourage and help her to continue with her fundraising.

“We were thrilled that she won this award and we held a surprise school assembly, so that we could present the certificate to her, in front of her parents.”

Jemma will now travel to London in October for the official presentation.

She has raised the money through a variety of events, including a 50km sponsored kayak relay that raised £5,500 alone, making and selling friendship bracelets that she started while still in hospital, and organising two pop up restaurants at her home at Gear Farm. For this last event Jemma helped source the food, organised and recruited her friends as waiting staff, and advertised the events.

There have also been stalls at various local events and she has been supported by St Keverne Band, which she is a member of.

She has also had the backing of her parents, Ann and David, and brother Michael as well as many of her school friends.

The Diana Award was established in 1999 as a lasting legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales' belief that young people had the power to change the world.

The award celebrates young people who support others and strive to improve their communities.

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