REMARKABLE Solihull schoolgirl Amelia Gebruers has been described as the bravest person X Factor judge Simon Cowell has ever met.
His praise for the ten-year-old came as he presented her with a Lidl Young Fundraiser award at Monday’s Pride of Britain Awards.
The ten-year-old has been honoured with the award for the tireless work she started after her dad – Peter Gebruers – was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.
The shock discovery came as a double blow as her brother Joshua was being treated for a similar life-threatening brain condition which was discovered in January 2014.
Five days before Joshua was due to start treatment their airline pilot dad Peter had a seizure as he collected them from school.
Medical examinations discovered that Peter had cancer and just two years to live.
But instead of simply admitting defeat – Amelia was inspired to do something good.
And now, just months after Peter passed away, she has channelled more than £21,000 to the charities that helped look after him and her brother – Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Butterfly AVM, the Brain Tumour Charity and Marie Curie.
At first, the youngster started selling lemonade and cakes outside her house, raising a few hundred pounds for charity.
But her ideas snowballed and soon she was contacting local businesses to help her with her ambitious plans.
She was honoured with a Pride of Birmingham Award last September.
Peter lived to see his daughter’s incredible efforts but tragically passed away on Valentine’s Day this year.
After presenting Amelia with her award, Simon Cowell said: “I think Amelia is the bravest girl I have ever met.
“What she has done is incredible and we are inviting her down to the show.
“She is a brilliant young girl.”
Fellow X Factor presenter Caroline Flack added: “My job is easy, what people like Amelia do is amazing.”
Amelia is now going to use her award and the publicity to continue and build on her amazing fundraising efforts, which she began when she was just eight.
She said: “I wanted to do something good to cancel out the sad times we were having.
“I can go and do bigger things now, I believe in myself and other people believe in me too.”
Mum Lucy added: “I’m incredibly proud of her, she is just such an amazing character and shows such strength – to be able to find something so good out of something so awful.”
How Amelia got her tickets to the star-studded event was also a great experience for her – as well as the surprise of her life.
She and brother Josh were on a family day out to Madame Tussauds in London and were posing for a selfie with the waxwork of pop star Olly Murs – Amelia’s idol – when it came to life and the real Olly Murs handed her the tickets to the inspirational bash.
Speaking after the surprise he said: “It was an honour to meet Amelia, the fundraising she has done for a girl her age is absolutely incredible.
“She’s a little star.”
* Read next week’s Observer for more about the tragic turn of events that saw three dads of children at Amelia’s school die from cancer in the same year and to read the emotional tributes to them from their families.
To see Amelia – and all the other Pride of Britain winners – receive their awards, tune in to ITV at 8pm tomorrow night (Thursday)