Kai Laidlaw’s mum wants to paint Edinburgh gold

Mum Pamela Neilson and little Kai Laidlaw. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Mum Pamela Neilson and little Kai Laidlaw. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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THE mum of tragic toddler Kai Laidlaw has teamed up with other parents to call for Edinburgh’s top landmarks to light up gold as part of a new childhood cancer awareness campaign.

Little Kai died in January after a two-year battle with infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

The three-year-old touched hearts across the UK through a social media page documenting his fight with the disease, which came back three times.

His mum Pamela Neilson, of Leith, is working with like-minded parents for the “Glow Gold for September” campaign, which has attracted the support of around 20 landmarks in just two weeks.

Edinburgh Castle is on board, along with the Royal Bank of Scotland in St Andrews Square, while the National Galleries of Scotland has vowed to illuminate a statue of Queen Victoria in its pediment on September 1.

Pam, 38, said: “We want to raise awareness of childhood cancer as it is not that rare, and affects so many children like Kai and Leon Rendle [the 16-year-old Hibs fan who died of a rare bone cancer last month].

“It’s one of those things no one wants to think about but we have to. When Kai was first poorly, I thought it was meningitis, as there was so much information about that and hardly anything about childhood cancer.

“If I had known more, maybe I could have taken him to hospital sooner.

“I think if we can save one family from the heartache by encouraging early diagnosis then something good can come out of this.

“Kai’s passed but if we can do something positive then that can be his legacy.”

The campaign hopes to encourage football teams and community buildings to join suit.

Also on the team is Emma Barron, of Comely Bank, whose daughter Beau, now ten, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was only two years old.

Emma, 38, said: “A lot of people really want things to change for children with cancer. There’s not the same funding available and there have not been any new drugs for years.

“We want to target early diagnosis and kinder medicines, and make parents more aware of the signs.”

It has also been backed by Julie Yates, 40, of Tranent, whose daughter Niamh, 16, has recovered from bone cancer but will struggle with the complications of chemotherapy for the rest of her life.

Liz North, director of communications and campaigning at CLIC Sargent, said: “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a great opportunity for everyone to show they are standing by children with cancer. Pam has already done a fantastic job getting businesses in Scotland to go gold and we support her efforts to light up the whole of Scotland gold this September.”

For more information visit www.facebook.com/GlowGoldSeptember.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com