Donations can help the fight against childhood cancer

Nine-year-old cancer survivor lily douglas web

Inspiring Lily Douglas is calling for backing for the Give up Clothes for Good in Scotland

7th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A dancing champion battling a rare cancer is urging Scots to clear out their wardrobes to help save lives.

Nine-year-old Lily Douglas has earned great success in dance but is currently enduring chemotherapy at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh ahead of surgery to have a bone in her shoulder removed.

She was heartbroken after being forced to cancel an audition with Scottish Ballet in April when doctors diagnosed Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of tumour found in the bone and soft tissue.

But since then Lily has been determined to keep dancing, even winning first place in a solo dance competition only two days after completing her fourth round of chemotherapy.

To mark childhood cancer awareness month this September, Lily has been chosen in Scotland to launch Give Up Clothes for Good, a partnership between TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens which raises funds for life saving research in to children’s cancers.

Lily, who stars in photographs cross legged on a heap of colourful clothes, is rallying people to donate good quality clothing, accessories and homeware they no longer need to their nearest TK Maxx store. Each bag donated could make up to £30 when sold in Cancer Research UK stores

“I just love dancing so much and it’s my life,” she said.

“I’ve been dancing since I was two and a half. As soon as I get a break from chemotherapy treatment then it’s getting back to dancing that makes me feel happy. If I’m out of hospital in the morning then I’ll often be back at a dance class or taking part in a dance competition by the same afternoon. Now I’d really like to help other children who have cancer. That’s why my mum and I will be having a good clear out at home and finding clothes and items to donate. I hope everyone across Scotland will get behind this campaign too and turn something unwanted in to funds for such a fantastic cause.”

It was a hammerblow for the family on Friday 28 April this year when doctors in Edinburgh explained that Lily had a tumour in her shoulder and both her lungs.

“Lily could tell how upset I was,” said her mum Jane Douglas, 47.

“When Lily had first complained of a sore shoulder I’d thought it was only a dance injury. She danced every day and looked so healthy. I remember saying to her, ‘it will be fine. You’ll have just pulled a muscle’. Cancer never even entered by head. Why would it?

“Now I was sitting in a room with Lily asking me:  ‘Mum, do I have cancer?’ When I said ‘Yes’, her first question was, ‘Will I lose my hair? When I said ‘yes’, she got quite emotional. That weekend at home was horrible. I had been told the cancer was aggressive so I knew we had a real fight on our hands. It was like a black cloud over us. But by the Monday morning as we prepared to go back in to hospital to start treatment I had decided to pick myself up and get on with it. I’ve not cried since. Lily has made things very easy as she is the most positive person I know.”

Doctors are still finalising a full treatment plan for Lily. She will need 14 rounds of chemotherapy in total followed by surgery to remove a bone in her shoulder. Lily also needs either radiotherapy in the UK or proton beam therapy in America.  But the results of latest scans reveal Lily is already responding well to chemotherapy treatment.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK kids & teens spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see Lily as the face of Give up Clothes for Good in Scotland.

“Lily has been through so much at such a young age. Thanks to research, more children and young people are surviving cancer than ever before. But there’s still so much more to do.

“Our mission is to ensure no youngster in the UK diagnosed with cancer dies of the disease and that those who survive do so with a good quality of life.”