Rhionna (7) is a beacon of hope


BRAVE Rhionna McCulloch helped bring a bit of festive cheer to youngsters coping with cancer after raising just over £1,700 for a charity close to her heart.

The seven-year-old - who was diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2007 and beat the disease after a two year battle - joined her mum Gillian, relatives and family friends to raise £1,710 with a bucket rattle at Tesco’s Milngavie for kids’ cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

Gillian (35) from Carbeth Road, Milngavie, said: “It was a massive amount to raise, We did not expect anything like that.

“Friends and family helped out in freezing conditions and we even had one donation of a £50 note which was extremely generous.

“Rhionna and all of us want to say thank you to everyone, and especially the anonymous donor of the £50 note.”

This is not the first time the Clober Primary School pupil has raised money for the charity that helped her when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia - a cancer of the white blood cells.

The plucky little girl raised £3,000 on her sixth birthday in September 2008 to help fund the specialist care that is so desperately needed.

After Rhionna was diagnosed she had four weeks of horrendous intensive, energy sapping chemotherapy which made all her hair fall out and lowered her immune to such an extent that she had to take mood altering steroids to fight infections.

She was also on a two year course of chemotherapy tablets and underwent weekly lumbar punctures for four months before being given the all clear.

However throughout most of this time she remained upbeat and became known in her road as ‘a wee diamond’ for her positive attitude to life.

Rhionna now has six monthly check-ups for the next five years, then every year after that.