A DANCING champion fighting a rare form of cancer is urging Scots to clear out their wardrobes and help save lives.
Nine-year-old Lily Douglas, who has won almost 300 trophies and medals, is undergoing chemotherapy at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, before having a bone in her shoulder removed.
She was forced to cancel an audition with Scottish Ballet in April when doctors diagnosed Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of tumour found in the bone and soft tissue.
Lily was determined to keep dancing and triumphed in a solo dance category at the UDO Scottish Street Dance Championships in the summer, two days after her fourth round of chemotherapy.
The dancer is among 310 young people diagnosed with cancer in Scotland every year.
To mark childhood cancer awareness month, she has been chosen to launch the Give Up Clothes for Good scheme.
People are being asked to donate good quality clothing, accessories and homeware at TK Maxx stores. Each bag donated could make up to £30 when sold in Cancer Research UK outlets.
Lily, of Perth, said: “I’ve been dancing since I was two and a half. As soon as I get a break from chemotherapy treatment then it’s getting back to dancing that makes me feel happy.
“If I’m out of hospital in the morning then I’ll often be back at a dance class or taking part in a dance competition by the same afternoon.
“Now I’d really like to help other children who have cancer. That’s why my mum and I will be having a good clear-out at home and finding clothes and items to donate.
“I hope everyone across Scotland will get behind this campaign too and turn something unwanted into funds for such a fantastic cause.”
Her family found out about the condition on April 28 this year when doctors explained that Lily had a tumour in her shoulder and both lungs.
The dancer’s mum, Jane Douglas, 47, said: “When Lily had first complained of a sore shoulder I’d thought it was only a dance injury.
“She danced every day and looked so healthy. I remember saying to her, ‘it will be fine. You’ll have just pulled a muscle’. Cancer never even entered by head. Why would it?”
Doctors are still finalising a full treatment plan for Lily.
She will need 14 rounds of chemotherapy in total followed by surgery to remove a bone in her shoulder. She also needs either radiotherapy in the UK or proton beam therapy in America.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK kids and teens spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see Lily as the face of Give up Clothes for Good in Scotland.
“Lily has been through so much at such a young age. Thanks to research, more children and young people are surviving cancer than ever before. But there’s still so much more to do.
“Our mission is to ensure no youngster in the UK diagnosed with cancer dies of the disease and that those who survive do so with a good quality of life.”