Cancer survivor in VIP Downing Street trip

Georgia Hillman was invited to London.Picture: comp

Georgia Hillman was invited to London.Picture: comp

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A BUDDING ice skater who was diagnosed with kidney cancer after her mother found a lump while blowing raspberries on her tummy has been 
received as a guest of honour in Downing Street.

Georgia Hillman, seven, was diagnosed just two days after her first birthday and endured keyhole surgery to remove the tumour before six months of chemotherapy.

She also underwent three bouts of blood transfusions but has not looked back since going into remission in 2009.

The Mary Erskine pupil was among 20 youngsters from across the UK to enjoy a special reception – hosted by Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron – to launch a campaign by Cancer Research UK calling for more funding.

Now working towards a level eight Skate UK award at Murrayfield Ice Rink, Georgia’s courage throughout her illness was said to have been heart-warming.

Father Ben, 40, who accompanied Georgia on her trip through the corridors of power, said: “Her courage and humour through numerous operations and chemotherapy was simply inspirational.

“She clapped the nurses when they had finished administering the drugs to her.

“She would be laughing, be violently sick then just carry on having fun.

“Quite simply her strength got us through the year of treatment and operations.”

Georgia enjoyed a secret agent-themed party and a sightseeing tour of London as part of the treat.

Her father said: “She had a brilliant time at Downing Street, and it was exciting to walk through the famous door and up the staircase seeing the pictures of all the British prime ministers.

“She enjoyed meeting and chatting to Samatha Cameron, who was genuinely interested to find out about the exciting games the children had been playing during the afternoon.

“To visit such an iconic building was a huge honour, and the staff were very friendly, showing us some of the rooms, including the one that Margaret Thatcher used as her private study.”

New figures show the number of people aged 24 and under dying from cancer in Scotland has dropped from 130 in the mid-1970s to about 45 today – but the disease remains the biggest killer of youngsters in the UK.

Cancer Research UK wants to raise more money for research into kinder treatments and cures for children, teens and young adults with cancer.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see deaths for children’s cancers falling steadily. But we must make faster progress to save more lives, so we’re extremely grateful for the support of Georgia’s family and to Samantha Cameron in helping to highlight the power of research in beating the disease.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com