Brave Kerry in the running for flame fame!

IPSWICH: Excitement is building today as a panel of judges prepares to select inspirational hopefuls for the Olympic torchbearer relay – and one Ipswich woman could be a part of the magic.

More than 28,000 people were nominated for the honour and their applications will now be considered by the panel before they are shortlisted.

And among them is courageous cystic fibrosis sufferer Kerry Thorpe.

The popular 20-year-old has inspired people across the town to sign up to the donor register and she hopes to continue in her mission to raise awareness of her condition.

Doctors have given Kerry less than a year to live unless she can find a double life-saving lung transplant.

But despite her condition, Kerry is “extremely excited” after discovering she is in with a 14-1 shout of carrying the flame on its journey to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London.

“I think its fantastic that I have been nominated, if I was chosen out of all those people I would feel so honoured,” she said.

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“It would give me something to look forward to because I can’t do much at the moment so when there is the possibility of doing something like carrying the Olympic torch it is amazing.

“I know my mum nominated me so hopefully I will get picked.”

The Olympic torch will travel through Suffolk next summer on its way to the opening ceremony in London on July 27.

On July 5, it will stop overnight in Ipswich, but to get it to and from Suffolk’s county town it is expected to travel through dozens of communities.

On average, 110 people a day will carry the Olympic flame next summer on its 8,000 mile journey.

If successful in her bid to be part of the relay, Kerry will be wheeled around the route in her wheelchair by her fiance Joshua Nelli.

Joshua said: “I’m so pleased that Kerry is still in contention for being the carrier of the Olympic Torch.”

A spokeswoman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said early indications reflected an exceptionally high quality of nominations.

The stories of the nominees have been put forward to one of 12 judging panels around the country but they will remain anonymous as the judges decide which stories they think have the power to inspire the world.

The panel, made up of representatives from the culture, sport, voluntary, education, youth and local government sectors, will meet between October 3 and 14 where decisions will be made. Successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer in December. Their places will then be confirmed in February 2012.

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n Have you been shortlisted to be Ipswich’s torch bearer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to