Today we are pleased to announce that 12-year-old Mackenzie Cameron from Cardross as a winner of a Young Achiever Award. Mackenzie’s story is captured below by journalist and TV Presenter Catriona Shearer.
12-year-old Mackenzie Cameron has been through more than most kids his age – and more than most adults too. Born with a rare condition, which sadly took the life of his sister, he’s spent a lot of his young life in hospital – sometimes for day treatments, sometimes for long periods.
At the end of 2020 Mackenzie contracted Covid. As a triply immunosuppressed patient the virus hit hard, and he was put on a ventilator for five weeks and in intensive care for seven. He fought through several scares over the months and slowly improved and started his rehab and physio. He had to learn to walk again. But the brave boy from Cardross was determined in his pursuit. His inner strength, coupled with the help of his friends, family, school and local community, spurred him on – and they were not only determined but selfless, raising £2700 for two special charities on a sponsored virtual walk, first to Paris, then to Orlando.
The judging panel of the Scottish Children’s Health Awards was particularly impressed by Mackenzie’s bravery, strength, and determination. As well as the challenge of learning to walk again, his community spirit and generosity impressed, and they deemed Mackenzie a “very worthy winner” of a Young Achiever Award.
The ever-thoughtful youngster was already thinking of someone else who was deserving of an award. “My mum Kelly does everything for my care and does her best to keep me out of hospital. She is an amazing mum and if I could give her an award, I would!” But such was the impact Mackenzie made on others, it wasn’t his mum who nominated him for this accolade.
Despite an appearance on STV news recently Mackenzie was still pretty starstruck and surprised at winning the award and was delighted Play Specialist Claire Differ nominated him. “It means a lot to learn that Claire put me through for the award. It’s nice that people think nice things about me and know how hard I have fought and how brave I’ve been.”
Mackenzie is a “massive game show fan” and loves “old game shows” like Play your Cards Right and Family Fortunes. But his favourite is The Chase. He’d love to meet Bradley Walsh, having already received a video message from ‘The Vixen’ Jenny Ryan from the show when he was very ill in hospital. But with everything Mackenzie has been through – and the way he’s handled it all, it’s fair to say he’s the biggest star of them all. He did say people might want his autograph now – and we agree. Well done Mackenzie on winning A Young Achiever Award.
The Scottish Children’s Health Awards have been created to celebrate courageous children and those who are making a difference to the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland. The Young Achiever Award recognises those who have shown great determination and kept going, when it might have been so much easier to give up. It celebrates a child or young person who has gone above and beyond, showing enormous courage in their life and never giving up.