Brave Kira Noble has joined forces with an Edinburgh mum whose son died of leukaemia to launch a campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer and help parents spot symptoms.
The Edinburgh teenager who won the hearts of thousands in the Capital during her neuroblastoma fight, is the young ambassador for the Glow Gold campaign, which launched at Edinburgh Castle on Friday to kick-start Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Scotland.
Kira is backing the campaign spearheaded by Pamela Laidlaw, whose “beautiful boy” Kai spent most of his short life fighting leukaemia before he died, aged three.
On the five year anniversary of Kai’s diagnosis, Pamela is now leading the campaign with Kira’s mum Aud and other parents to save lives, by calling for information to be made available to parents to help them identify symptoms of cancer sooner. Pam said, “I will always ask, what if? What if I had been armed with the right information and knew how to spot symptoms.
There’s so much information online and that can be so scary when a child is ill.
Childhood cancer is rare – around 1,600 new cases are diagnosed every year in the UK in children under years. One child in 500 will develop some form of cancer by the age of 14. Pam said being informed would help parents rule it out - or save lives.
“What parents need is to have access to trusted information, to know the symptoms of cancer.”
Kira #themachine launched the campaign with a Gold Bike inscribed with names of children who lost their battle with the disease.
Golden bikes were then delivered to children across the Capital, all donated by families affected by cancer, friends, family and the Bike Station in Edinburgh.
Iconic buildings will be illuminated gold this month across the UK in support of the campaign. The Royal Bank of Scotland at St Andrews Square turned gold this weekend.
As part of the campaign Pam, Aud and the group of mums are also helping to design an information card about symptoms of cancer and lobbying for changes at national level. Pam said, “We want to get information out to parents through resources like Ready Steady Baby. The aim is to get vital information to parents early so they know what to look for.”
To mark five years since Kai’s diagnosis the group will meet with all MSP’s later this month. Pam said, “The day will be difficult for me but I feel I have to make sure Kai’s death can help make a difference to other families.”