Every now and then a story comes along which highlights the strength and determination of the human spirit.

This week's Westmorland Gazette features two heart-rending - but also uplifting - stories, which do just that.

Seven-year-old Ravenstonedale boy Adam Nicholson was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012 but, despite constant trips back and forth to hospital for chemotherapy treatment since then, has not allowed the illness to hold him back.

Determined to live life to the full he has continued to attend school, Beavers and swimming lessons throughout his treatment.

And now his determination has been recognised by being crowned the Inspirational Child winner for children aged four to seven in this year's North West Pride Awards.

Thankfully Adam is currently in medical remission and will finish his treatment in October.

Meanwhile praise has also been heaped on the battling spirit and courage of six-year-old Alex Carratu, whose family emigrated from Wennington, near Kirkby Lonsdale, to Tauranga, New Zealand, and who was recently diagnosed with the rare Burkitt's Lymphona.

Doctors are experimenting with different treatments as they try to determine the extent of the hold the cancer has on Alex and he is likely to be in a specialist children's hospital in Auckland until at least Christmas.

While some of the care will be paid for, the family has decided to privately fund extra treatment to boost Alex's chance of survival, with initial programmes starting at around £10,000.

Despite planning to move back to England in September, the family was left with no option but to sell their Wennington home and all its furniture to raise money quickly.

Both Adam and Alex - and their families - have shown tremendous courage during a traumatic period of their lives and in circumstances few people would care to imagine.

And those who have rallied round to help them also deserve recognition for the support and help they have provided.

These are inspiring stories which will hopefully encourage many people to donate to the Carratu family's Just Giving page to donate to the treatment fund.