An Antrim girl has been crowned ‘Child of the Year’ at this year’s Ni4kids Family Awards.
Thirteen-year-old Victoria McClements was presented with her award by Rachael O’Connor, semi-finalist on this year’s The Voice.
Victoria is a talented musician and represented Northern Ireland in 2012 when she sang for the Queen.
She has also successfully auditioned for the Grand Opera House production of Guys and Dolls this summer.
Although Victoria looks the picture of health, unfortunately she is coping with a life-threatening hidden illness known as Addison’s Disease.
She was admitted to hospital one day after her 12th birthday when she became seriously ill and very close to death.
She is the only female child under 16 in Northern Ireland with this autoimmune illness which means she can’t cope with any form of stress to the body.
If she takes ill, has a bad burn, breaks a bone or has a car accident, she may die within 30 minutes if an emergency injection is not administered.
Despite her numerous stays in hospital and the pain she suffers often, has a smile on her face mum Audrey commented: “She is a very determined young lady and I’m very proud to call her my daughter.”
The Ni4kids Family Awards in association with The OUTLET Village, Banbridge, was held at Belfast City Hall last week.
Nadia Duncan, Managing Editor for Ni4kids Magazine, said: “This event has been such a phenomenal success over the last three years with some outstanding winners and this year in particular we received a record number of nominations from right across Northern Ireland, particularly for the Mum, Dad, Child and Grandparent of the Year Awards.”
Siobhan McKeown, marketing manager for The OUTLET Village, Banbridge, added: “There are so many amazing and talented young people here or children that may be coping with illness or have overcome difficult circumstances.
“The Ni4kids Family Awards is our opportunity to honour them and hear their stories.”