Brave schoolgirl marks end of cancer treatment with charity drive

Agatha King, who has been receiving treatment for blood cancer. Picture: contributed.
Agatha King, who has been receiving treatment for blood cancer. Picture: contributed.
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A brave Scottish schoolgirl is marking the end of her cancer treatment by helping to raise funds for the charities that supported her.

Agatha King, 6, was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2015 and will take her last chemotherapy tablets next month.

Agatha with MSP Willie Rennie and her mum, Karen. Picture: contributed.

Agatha with MSP Willie Rennie and her mum, Karen. Picture: contributed.

Agatha’s parents Karen and Kevin King have been charting their daughter’s journey with cancer through the Facebook page Agatha’s Leukaemia’s Life Story and will now fundraise for some of the charities that helped the family over the past two and a half years.

Agatha, who lives in Cupar, Fife, recieved some of her treatment at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids hospital.

“Our mantra for Agatha has always been ‘every cloud has a silver’ lining and that no matter how awful things have seemed there’s always a ray of light,” Karen said.

“We had only moved to Cupar six months before Agatha was diagnosed and we feel blessed for that every day that we moved into such a supportive community. Support has come from the most unexpected of places at times and it has really helped us to keep going.”

Agatha King said watching the DVD of the musical Hairspray is helping her through her treatment. Picture: Cancer Research / Lesley Martin.

Agatha King said watching the DVD of the musical Hairspray is helping her through her treatment. Picture: Cancer Research / Lesley Martin.

The family will now support charities CCLASP, TCCL and Ward 29 at Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee.

Karen said: “Incredibly we are now two and a half years on and Agatha is reaching the end of her treatment. She takes her last chemo tablets on Monday 10th July. 2017. A day she is very much looking forward too.

“We’d love be able to fundraise for everyone but it just isn’t possible so with Agatha’s help we’ve chosen these charities to support. CCLASP provide support in so many ways, they have an on ward coffee morning to give parents and carers support which is invaluable especially when your child is newly diagnosed.

“They provide fun outings, including trips to the cinema where they hire the whole cinema so it is a safe environment for those children with supressed immune systems. They also provide holidays so families can get a much needed break and they are currently building a new drop in centre near to the new hospital where people will be able to go to make food for their children, freshen up and even take siblings.

Agatha King before her treatment started. Picture: contributed.

Agatha King before her treatment started. Picture: contributed.

“TCCL also provide trips and parties. They had a successful Christmas party at the Apex hotel in Dundee and recently a spring craft making session and they have a pamper evening planned for mums later in the year.”

“They also have the TCCL Lodge in St Andrews which provides a much needed holiday for families in the area. They have catered for all needs and leave treats and goodies for the families to enjoy whilst having a break. We have spent a lot of time in Ward 29 with a six week stay in May 2015 when Agatha caught a fungal infection and again last May/June when she caught the chickenpox and reacted extremely badly to the medication.”

Karen said that staff at the hospital ward had become like a “second family”.

Karen added: “Whilst Agatha has been incredibly brave throughout treatment and coped with everything cancer has thrown at her she has developed a huge fear of needles. When Agatha’s treatment finishes and her port is removed she will have to have cannulas if medication is needed. We are aiming to raise enough money to buy the ward 2 vein scanners. These use infrared light to identify veins and help the placement of cannulas to become more accurate and therefore a quicker process. We also feel these would benefit any child in ward 29 needing a cannula and not just those with cancer.”

As part of the fundraising efforts the family have set up Agatha’s Silver Lining facebook page and have organised an online Tootsies Children’s Clothing party later in the year.

Kevin ,47, has organised a Charity Golf Day at Ladybank Golf Club on Friday 28th July.

“Agatha herself didn’t want to be left out of the fundraising and with the help of her school and in particular her class teacher for the past 2 years Mrs Young, she has organised a fundraising disco for her friends to help her celebrate the end of her treatment,” Karen said.

The disco will be held at St Columba’s RC Primary school on Tuesday 27th June from 6-8pm. Tickets cost £3 each.

Karen added: “Agatha would like to invite people to help her celebrate.”