The Regional Press Awards’ first multimedia journalist of the year, Adrian Sudbury, a leukaemia sufferer who may have only weeks to live, was too ill to attend Friday’s event so instead recorded a video message.
He said: ‘Thank you so much for the award, I’m so sorry I can’t be there. I’m obviously a bit ill at the moment. I’m thrilled that such a difficult situation has been turned into something so positive.”
Sudbury spoke of his wish to make one-hour lessons on bone marrow, blood and organ donation compulsory for 17 and 18-year-old students, a campaign that has led him to Number 10 for talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and earned him a mention in Prime Ministers’ Questions last week.
Since November 2006, days after being appointed digital editor at the Huddersfield Examiner, Sudbury has written a highly personal account of his illness on his Baldy’s Blog.
Sudbury’s parents picked up the award on his behalf.
His mum Kay said: ‘He won the award because he was the best multimedia journalist. The fact he is ill is secondary.”
Father Keith said he was proud his son’s blog had explained ‘a difficult and complex subject’in everyday language and had given comfort to cancer sufferers worldwide.
The judges for the category said: ‘The subject matter for this journalist is exceptional, compelling and emotional’and praised the blog’s professionalism. They said he ‘really understands the medium and the conversational nature of the readers in an extremely powerful way”.