A semi-finalist from the TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent has presented a framed piece of artwork to the hospital which treated his mum for breast cancer.
Chris Buttle, 11, of Rotherham, presented a print by local artist Pete McKee to the Surgical Outpatients Department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, as a thank you for the care his mum Alison Buttle has received.
Chris, a dancer who reached the latter stages of this year’s BGT, visited the hospital with his dance partner Lexie Joinson, 11, to hand over the picture and perform a short dance routine.
Alison, 42, underwent a mastectomy in August after first discovering a lump when she was supporting Chris and Lexie at BGT.
She said: “The kids knew straight away and there were days when they were in tears in the studio, but they are the best of friends and they both wanted to keep going and support each other through.”
Lexie said when they were told about Alison’s illness it was the first time she had ever seen Chris cry.
The cancer was removed by the surgery and Alison is now undergoing a course of chemotherapy.
Chris said: “We wanted to donate the picture because the hospital looked after mum. We were happy that she was being looked after.”
The picture, called Sand and Sea, shows a man and woman draped in the Union Jack hugging on a beach.
Chris said: “We chose it because the boy and the girl represent me and Lexie, the Union Jack represents BGT and it’s on the beach which is one of our favourite places.
“Also the people are hugging, and someone coming out of hospital just needs a hug.”
Alison said when she found the lump she suspected it was breast cancer because her mum had recently been treated for the same illness.
She said: “My mum was actually recovering from breast cancer and she had just finished her radiotherapy when I got my diagnosis. So I kind of knew what it was and my mind-set was that I just wanted to stay positive.
“I was diagnosed in August, although I had a good idea what it was before then after the mammogram and ultrasound. The hospital wanted me to come in a week sooner, but we were away with the children at a big dance competition in Bournemouth. Being a dance mum I could not miss it, and we wanted to spend some quality time together before coming back to find out for sure.”
Chris and Lexie finished in the top 30 in BGT, out of 37,000 applicants. In the semi-final they performed a cha cha into tango in front of a live audience and judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden, and 12m television viewers.
Alison said: “The judges said the technique was ‘fantastic’ and that ‘charisma just oozed out of Chris.’
“We were so proud of Chris and Lexie and their performance, especially in the circumstances.”
Sharon Grady, sister in the Surgical Outpatients Department, said: “The picture is such a lovely gesture and we are really grateful to Chris and Lexie and their families.
“We have it on proud display here in the department.”
Watch Chris and Lexie dancing on their visit to the hospital: