YEADON mum Vicki Gilbert lives up to her nickname.

This real-life ‘Wonder Woman’ has demonstrated boundless bravery and courage over the years which was recently acknowledged when she was presented with the Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Achievement at the recent Yorkshire Choice Awards in Leeds.

The 46-year-old mum-of-three received the award, which was set up in memory of the late Dr Kate Granger who inspired the NHS #hellomynameiscampaign, from Dr Granger’s husband, Chris Pointon at the Elland Road stadium.

In 2011, and at the age of 29, Dr Granger was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. She passed away in July 2016.

As well as inspiring the campaign to encourage medical workers to introduce themselves after her own experiences as a patient, Dr Granger also wrote about her experiences and her illness.

She undertook a number of fundraising challenges too including swimming the English Channel and participating in a sky dive, the Leeds 10k and a 13 mile trek in the Lake District while her husband completed the 96 mile West Highland Way and a trek on the Great Wall of China.

Vicki, who works with young children as a sign language instructor and is a lecturer in physical education at Leeds Beckett University, received the award for her many achievements and fundraising despite the setbacks she has faced through life.

At the age of 19 Vicki was diagnosed with bone cancer, which resulted in prolonged treatment involving chemo and radiotherapy and several operations to remove parts of her right leg and, eventually, the bulk of it. At the time,Vicki, was a sports coach training at Leeds Carnegie College.

In addition to the life-changing effects of the amputation, the treatment left her with hearing loss and damage to her kidneys - but most galling of all was the revelation that her bone cancer had been initially misdiagnosed.

In 2016 and while recovering from ligament reconstruction on her ankle, Vicki took part in the spinal cord charity - Aspire - Channel Pool Swim, (the equivalent distance of the English Channel) and was invited to join a relay team to swim the English Channel.

Even her breast cancer diagnosis in December 2016 didn’t stop her fundraising. As well as raising money for breast cancer charities and other charities such as Martin House, which provides family led care for children and young people with life shortening conditions, Vicki helped to set up a flood support charity to help communities affected by the Boxing Day floods in 2015.

Says Vicki: “I take the view that I’m still here so I have to carry on, to make the most of it.”

Referring to her nick-name ‘Wonder Woman’ Vicki explains: “All my friends have named me that for a few years but it seemed to really take off when I got diagnosed with the cancer and carried on going to work and keeping on juggling all the balls!!

“It really took off and everyone was buying me T-shirt’s, bags, cards etc even Zoggs sponsored me for my swimming sending me Wonder Woman Swim hats, goggles etc.”

The 46-year-old said of her award, which recognises people who have not only gone the extra mile but given significant and lasting contributions to others: “It’s amazing. I felt really humbled to be nominated and I was so shocked I had won it.”

The Yorkshire Choice Awards were founded by Melanie Malcolm and Jo Maltby to recognise and raise awareness of local people and independent businesses that are inspirational in their own way or in the markets they serve.

Says Jo:- “In the last four years, The Yorkshire Choice Awards has grown considerably, way beyond anything Mel and myself expected and we are thrilled that the event is now the pedestal to celebrate the very best of Yorkshire businesses and residents.”

She praised the support they receive from all those involved in making the awards possible.

Melanie explains the YCA is also a ‘vehicle for supporting charities.’ This year YCA partnered with Bethany’s Smile which helps to support the care of children with life limiting and threatening illnesses.

“We are hoping to raise a significant amount of support to go towards Smile Cottage – which will be a place where families can go to spend quality time with those they love while they are faced and coming to terms with the distressing news of life expectancy,” says Melanie.

Other charities to benefit from the YCA include Martin House Children’s Hospice, The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund and St Gemmas’s Hospice.

Adds Melanie: “The coverage and awareness the YCA is beginning to enjoy in the media and generally across the county can only be a good thing and will hopefully encourage more organisations to join us on our quest to recognise the best of Yorkshire. We’ve had 700 guests this year and that’s nearly 150 more than last year so we may start reach the 1000 guest target in a few years’ time”