A TEENAGER who donated her bone marrow so her brother could have a lifesaving transplant has been commended in a “young hero” award.

Grace Hardman, from Brandon, near Durham, underwent surgery earlier this year to help her brother Joseph, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

The 13-year-old received the commendation in the Young Hero category at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards (ANSAs) at the Tower of London.

The awards are held annually to celebrate, recognise and thank the outstanding supporters who keep the pioneering blood cancer charity moving forward.

Those commended were chosen by a panel of judges from Anthony Nolan, chaired by the charity’s chief executive, Henny Braund.

Grace’s 18-year-old brother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last year, at the age of 17 and was told his best chance was a stem cell transplant.

After discovering Grace was a match, she went on to donate her stem cells in April at just 12-years-old.

Grace’s mum, Joanne Hardman nominated Grace for the John Petchey Young Hero of the Year award, supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Upon hearing the news, Joanne Hardman said: “Grace was a bit shocked. I don’t think the enormity of what she has done has sunk in yet.

“She knew her brother was poorly, and she was the one who was going to help him, and she just did it. It won’t be until later that she realises what a big step it was.”

Mrs Hardman added: “Grace was only 12-years-old and she donated her stem cells. We are always talking to people about joining the register because we count ourselves lucky that Grace was a match for Joseph.

“I can’t imagine the worry a family must have when they haven’t got a match.’

The award has been named in memory of John Petchey by the Jack Petchey Foundation. The John Petchey Young Hero of the Year award recognises an individual under 16 years old who has gone to remarkable lengths to support Anthony Nolan’s work.

Trudy Kilcullen of the Jack Petchey Foundation said: “Grace is an inspiration with an incredibly powerful story. She is a hugely deserving winner.”

Anthony Nolan chief executive Henny Braund said: “Grace is a hugely deserving recipient of this commendation and we were incredibly proud to celebrate her with other winners and nominees at this year’s Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards.

“Between them they have raised vital funds, recruited the lifesavers of the future, shared stories to generate awareness, campaigned for change in Parliament and volunteered countless hours to make it all happen.”