Kirsty clears out wardrobe to help save cancer kids

A MUM whose nine-year-old daughter has been treated for leukaemia is urging people to clean out their wardrobes to raise money for research into children's cancers.

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  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
    Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection
  • Lauren Holland and her mum, Kirsty, go through her wardrobe to donate clothes to the collection

Kirsty Holland, 36, is supporting Give Up Clothes For Good, which aims to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

Money generated from the Scotland-wide campaign will go to Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital.

Kirsty's daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in May 2012, when she was just eight-years-old.

Kirsty, a child minder, said: "Thanks to research into children's cancers, Lauren is here today and is now living a full and happy life."

Lauren, who had been complaining of a sore ear, was at a Brownie camp when she fell ill.

When her mum went to pick her up, she discovered the youngster had bruises all over her chest and a rash on her legs.

Following a call to NHS24 and a visit to Crosshouse Hospital, Lauren was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill where she received a blood transfusion.

Kirsty recalls: "It was a total shock to see Lauren so unwell.

"It never crossed our minds that these were the symptoms of cancer."

Tests showed that the leukaemia was in her spine, which was putting pressure on her nerves, something which had caused the pain in her ear.

The usually sociable youngster had to spend the next six months in isolation in a completely sterile environment, with only her parents allowed to see her.

Kirsty recalls: "It was such a difficult time, but Lauren never complained. Lauren's sisters weren't able to see her for about four months either. They never stopped asking after Lauren though."

Lauren's classmates at Onthank Primary also made a point of keeping in touch, making paper teddy bears with personal messages on them and sending emails.

After the first block of chemotherapy, Lauren went into remission, something the family were thrilled about.

The treatment continued, however, until doctors could be satisfied Lauren was completely cancer free.

Lauren was discharged from hospital just over a year ago, on November 29 2012, although she has had to return to hospital regularly for checks.

Now Lauren is back at school, enjoying spending time with her classmates.

The family, including dad Steven, 37, an engineer and sisters, seven-year-old Paige and Brooke, aged four, also enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris in September.

Lauren also got the chance to be a zookeeper for the day at Blair Drummond Safari Park, where she got to feed the giraffes and fly a baby owl.

Kirsty added: "All three of my children have been so brilliant throughout all of this. This experience undoubtedly affected all of them but they never complained and took everything as it came.

"You never imagine something like this is going to happen to your family. When it did, our lives stopped and completely changed. It makes you realise how important your family is."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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