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Dagenham schoolboy with sickle cell rewarded for sporting success

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:51 16 May 2018

Romeo Itonga, 12, was honoured at the London Children of Courage Awards. Picture: Panathlon Challenge

Romeo Itonga, 12, was honoured at the London Children of Courage Awards. Picture: Panathlon Challenge

Panathlon Challenge

A Dagenham schoolboy who overcame a life-threatening condition to excel in sport was honoured at an awards ceremony.

Romeo Itonga, who attends All Saints Catholic School in Wood Lane, was handed the Junior Outstanding Bravery prize at this year’s London Children of Courage Awards.

The swanky ceremony at the InterContinental hotel in Park Lane recognised the achievements of children, young people and their families and carers in the face of “significant adversity”.

“We loved every minute,” said his mum, Mamba Yese, 37.

“The best part of the evening was seeing the smiles on each child as they received their awards.”

Romeo, 12, of Bowes Road, lost some of his fingers and requires regular blood transfusions from sickle cell anaemia.

But that hasn’t stopped him going for gold in sports competitions organised by Panathlon. Last year he competed in the charity’s London Primary Final at the Copper Box Arena and was a runner-up in Wembley National Stadium Trust’s Outstanding Achievement award.

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