KIRA Noble’s courageous battle against cancer and her determination to live life to the full while helping others facing similar illness have earned the city teenager a prestigious award.
Nicknamed “Kira the Machine”, the 15-year-old Firhill High pupil has faced the rare and aggressive cancer Neuroblastoma since she was 11-years-old. She has now been told that her cancer is incurable.
After doctors failed to initially recognise that she had the condition, Kira struck a cord nationwide as she campaigned for more awareness and training of medical professionals.
She launched a Childhood Cancer campaign and joined forces with an Edinburgh mum whose son died of leukaemia.
Despite twenty rounds of chemotherapy, conventional radiotherapy and additional Proton Beam Therapy, Kira’s cancer has returned three times making her currently in her fourth journey with the disease.
But whilst in hospital, she offers support to other sufferers and their families as well as raising awareness through social media.
Friends, family and the public raised a six-figure sum to enable Kira to have potentially life-saving surgery in New York, which was followed-up with Proton Beam Therapy in New Jersey.
However, scans in January revealed that Kira’s cancer continued to grow and medics told her is incurable – while Kira herself has taken the decision to try an experimental ALK inhibitor.
Reacting to the news at the time, typically stoic Kira said: “I don’t like being negative because it isn’t going to get me anywhere.”
It was this attitude that so impressed Leith Rotary Club who nominated her for a Rotary Young Citizen Award 2019, which she has won.
Kira said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to have been nominated first of all for this award ... and to win it is amazing.”
She added: “I do what I do because I’m passionate about making a difference to current and future families diagnosed with Childhood Cancer. That’s why we created my ‘Kira the Machine’ Facebook page – to increase awareness of the disease. It all starts with awareness which will in turn educate people and encourage more research.
“No change has ever come about in life through inaction and doing nothing. I am a voice for kids fighting cancer.”
Kira will receive a trophy and £500 which she plans to split between Its Good 2 Give, a charity providing healthy snacks to kids on the Oncology Ward, and Jak’s Den in Livingston.
But she will not be at the ceremony later this month as like any typical teenager she’s having a pre-birthday weekend away with her friends and attending a Vamps concert.
Rotary in Britain and Ireland President Debbie Hodge said: “Kira’s positive attitude is an inspiration to us all. Her willingness to share her story so that others may be diagnosed sooner, and families receive the support they need, is a tribute to her courage.”