Rhionna (8) shortlisted for child of the year award

rhionna mcculloch and mum gillian been nominated for the big heart of scotland'em'20/9/11
rhionna mcculloch and mum gillian been nominated for the big heart of scotland'em'20/9/11

A LITTLE girl who has battled leukaemia has been shortlisted for a Child of the Year award.

Rhionna McCulloch has raised more than £8,000 in the past three years for cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

The eight-year-old Clober Primary School pupil is one of three youngsters out of 2,500 from throughout Scotland who were nominated for one of the Bighearted Scotland awards.

Now in its 10th year, the star studded event honours ordinary Scots who have done extraordinary things and personalities from stage, screen and sport who have helped those less fortunate than themselves.

The overall winners in a range of categories will be announced at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on October 14.

Her mum Gillian (37) said: “I am thrilled for her. She had managed to overcome her illness. Only last week she lost her wee friend Jordan who was just six. The two of them went through treatment for leukaemia together. It was desperately sad.”

Rhionna was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia — a cancer of the white blood cells — in November 2007, and fought a two-and-a-half-year rollercoaster battle against the disease.

She had to undergo horrendous intensive chemotherapy sessions at Yorkhill Sick Kids Hospital, Glasgow. which made all her hair fall out. Her immune system was also lowered from the treatment, making her vulnerable to many infections.”

But throughout the whole ordeal she remained positive and is known as a ‘real diamond’ by her neighbours.

Rhionna, who has an older brother Ruaridh (15), was finally given the all clear by doctors at the end of February 2009, but still needs to go for check-ups every six months for the next five years.