He’s been dubbed ‘little smiley-pants’ for his amazing bravery in the face of adversity - and today he’s our first nominee in this year’s Best of South Tyneside Awards.
South Shields baby Roman Hansen who is undergoing the fight of his life as he tackles a rare cancer called pleuropulmonary blastoma.
But despite his battles, which includes nine months of chemotherapy, the West Harton youngster is doing it all with a constant smile on his face.
Nurses nicknamed him “smiley-pants” because of his constant beaming smile as he fights for his life.
His parents Amanda, 31, and Stephen, 34, who also have children Brooklyn, 11, Brandon, nine, Bailey, six and Mia, 20-months, said they are so proud of their little boy,
Amanda, 31, said: “He smiles through everything - even at his lowest points. He is so brave and is our little fighter.”
People have been so supportive and for Roman to be nominated for the award means so much. We are all so proud of him and it would mean a lot if he did win the awardAmanda Hansen
The cancer was discovered after Roman had to undergo an operation at just 12 weeks old to remove 15% of one of his lungs.
It was after surgery when part of the lung was tested in a bid to try and find out what was wrong that the cancer was found. Roman, who is nearly five months old, is currently being looked after by a team of medics at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, supported, due to the rarity of the cancer, by doctors in Minnesota, America.
Doctors are currently monitoring Roman in hospital as his white blood cells have dropped to an unsafe level, increading his risk of infection.
Now his bravery is being recognised with a nomination in the Child of Courage category in the Gazette’s annual awards which look to honour outstanding people in the borough.
Speaking about his health struggle, Amanda added: “I am just thankful he wont remember this when he is older.
“This is his first year of life so all of his milestones will be spent in hospital - the first time he has food or the first time he crawls.
“People have been so supportive and for Roman to be nominated for the award means so much.
“We are all so proud of him and it would mean a lot if he did win the award.”
Roman was transferred to Newcastle’s RVI after being taken to South Tyneside District Hospital when his mam Amanda found him struggling the breathe in the early hours of May 22.
She had been woken from her sleep at around 2.30am, with a feeling something wasn’t right with her son, to find him gasping for breath.
At first, doctors thought he had bronchiolitis but as his temperature began to soar and he started to fit, he was taken to the resuscitation room where a transport team were called.
He received treatment for a collapsed lung before being transported to the RVI where he was put into intensive care.
Throughout his course of chemotherapy, Roman will spend the majority of time in hospital, but will be allowed home on occasion to spend time with his family.
Stephen, who works for CharityAid based in Washington, has had to temporarily give up his job in order to support his wife and family.
The couple are also receiving support from their parents Jean and Brian Hansen and Karen and David Burch.
A justgiving page has been set up to support the family as Roman battles cancer to help with hospital car parking charges and bills.
Anyone who would like to donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/baby-roman
The awards have been sponsored so by Barbour; Harlow Printing Limited; JML; BT South Tyneside; Northumbrian Water and The Customs House.
We know there are heroes galore out there who deserve and award.
So now all we need are entries for this year’s awards and we want you to inundate us with impressive nominations.
Once the deadline has passed, judges will draw up a shortlist ahead of a the finale to be held at the Roker Hotel on Wednesday, September 19.
To nominate, send your entries by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.