Brave ‘Little Star’ gets award

Rhionna McCulloch (9) got a cancer research award for raising money for the charity'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/1/13
Rhionna McCulloch (9) got a cancer research award for raising money for the charity'Photo Emma Mitchell'11/1/13
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A BRAVE little Milngavie girl who battled cancer has received an award for helping to raise thousands of pounds to fight the disease.

Rhionna McCulloch was nominated by her mum Gillian just before Christmas for the Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Award.

The plucky nine-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia — a cancer of the white blood cells — in November 2007, and fought a two-and-a-half-year battle against the disease before being given the all clear by doctors at the end of February 2009.

In recognition of this the Clober Primary school pupil received a small silver star, a £50 voucher from TK Maxx and a certificate signed by celebrities JLS, Mo Farah and Leona Lewis, who also backed the awards.

So far Rhionna, with the help of friends and family, has raise £12,000 for cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

She is hoping to increase this figure by another £2,000 when she takes part in The Kilt Walk from Hampden to Loch Lomond Shores in April. Gillian (37) said: “We are all so proud of Rhionna. She has come such a long way in such a short time and helped raise money for a really worthwhile cause.

“At the moment we are in training for the Kilt Walk and she is determined to raise as much money as she can for CLIC Sargent. Rhionna has asthma, but luckily it is not too bad.

Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, Linda Summerhayes, said: “Rhionna was nominated by her mum for her determination to make such a difference to other children who have been diagnosed with cancer and her Little Star Award has been given in celebration of her achievements. I know Rhionna and her family will cherish this award in the years to come.

“We also hope the public will be inspired by Rhionna and her family to back our Little Star Award campaign to support us in raising funds to help improve survival rates among children further.”

Last year, 33 children in Scotland received a Little Star Award and unlike many other children’s awards, there is no judging panel because Cancer Research UK in partnership with TK Maxx believe that all children who faces cancer are extra special. As well as the silver star and certificate, they also receive a £50 TK Maxx gift card.

In October last year Rhionna was shortlisted out of 2,500 youngsters for a Child of the Year Award. It was part of the Bighearted Scotland Awards at the plush Raddison Blu hotel and despite not winning Gillian said her daughter really enjoyed the experience.

Although Rhionna has been free from cancer for three years now she still needs regular check-ups every six months until next year.