Just three weeks ago one family’s mission to raise £340,000 to fly to New York for crucial cancer treatment seemed like a daunting task.
But they couldn’t have anticipated the explosion of generosity emanating from every corner of the city.
And by next week Kira could be on a flight preparing for the potentially life-saving surgery.
Speaking to STV, Kira said: “I was very happy about it but it kind of became more real, as in it’s only next week now.
“So it’s quite scary but I’m just happy I’m going to go get it done and then it’ll be over.”
Kira’s mum Aud added: “You can actually almost feel the buzz of Kira’s urgent appeal. It’s just absolutely fantastic.
“We will definitely be going to New York, which is absolutely fabulous. We are not yet booked on a flight, we are awaiting results of Kira’s blood count. We need to know that Kira is well enough and fit enough to travel.”
READ MORE: Teenage Kira set to raise funding for life-saving cancer surgery
Not only has her local community and school shown their support but the whole capital city has rallied, reaching a total of over £250,000 – the first hurdle in getting Kira to New York for treatment if she is well enough to travel next week.
Sympathetic parent’s witnessing the very nightmare they dread, teachers and pupils, in awe of their classmates strength and spirit; local businesses with the ability to spare some cash, politicians using their platform to spread the word. And children, often with a fearless ability to show true compassion, have reached into their pocket money tins and handed over their precious savings.
The very strands of humanity that bind a community have been lit with a passion to get Kira to America where a specialist surgeon is prepared to operate. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that attacks the nerve cells, at the age of 11 and has battled the diseases return three times.
“We are making arrangements for Kira and her Mum to travel to New York early next week for surgery May 10,” said Stephen Richards, Chief Executive of Solving Kids’ Cancer. “This is despite the target not having been reached yet. It is important that everything is in place for the family if Kira is given the medical go ahead for the operation next week.”
Not only does the treatment need to be paid for but also flights, accommodation, local travel and a daily allowance for the family.
“The support for Kira and her family continues to be fantastic, pushing us closer and closer to the target. With more events planned over the coming days and weeks and donations still coming in, we are hopeful that we can reach the full amount needed soon. We urge everyone to keep up their wonderful generosity to make this possible”.
And the rallying call has been heard with continuing efforts planned in the coming days.
Not least by Lisa Ahmed of Hanam’s, Pomegranate, Laila’s Bistro and Souq restaurants. She said: “Having a daughter the same age as Kira really touched us, and we wanted to do something to help.
“We decided that we would donate 10 percent of our total takings from all four of our restaurants this Friday, to the appeal.
“We will also have collection buckets if anyone wants to donate more. We would really hope that other businesses might consider doing something similar.”
Councillors sported ‘Kira the Machine’ badges to show their support and funds were collected in a bucket at the full council meeting yesterday.
Cllr Louise Young paid tribute to the “huge number of community groups and schools across the city who are doing their own fundraising activities”.
Kira’s local representative Cllr Gavin Corbett said despite the good news, the ultimate funding target still needs to be reached. “Kira’s story has captured the hearts of many people in Edinburgh but especially in here in Shandon, Slateford and Craiglockhart where she and her family stay. However, there is still some way to go to hit the £340,000 target which is why I was delighted the council leader highlighted Kira’s campaign yesterday.”
To donate: https://solvingkidscancer.org.uk/campaigns/Kira/
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