This heartwarming video shows a little girl who too weak to walk last year due to cancer - back up on her feet again and salsa dancing.
Four-year-old Lydia from Bearsden was temporarily unable to walk after she was diagnosed with leukaemia while on holiday in Turkey last November.
But what a difference a year makes. Lydia, who has endured four rounds of chemotherapy as well as blood transfusions, is in remission and has gone back to her mum’s salsa dancing classes.
And now she has been recognised with a Kids & Teens star award in partnership with TK Maxx for demonstrating remarkable courage during a tough fight back to health. Her parents, Selen Yilmaz, 33, and Ozgur Yilmaz, 34, are hugely proud of their little girl.
Selen, a dance teacher at the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden, said: “I call Lydia my dancing sunshine. She’s loving dancing again and life has somehow come back to our family.
“When your child is diagnosed with cancer you have no idea why or how that can happen. It was traumatic but right from the start we were surrounded by amazing people who made Lydia laugh, gave her strength and made her happy.
“There have been times that it was Lydia who kept me going. She is a naturally happy person. Even when she felt too weak to walk, she still smiled.”
The family moved to Scotland from Turkey in 2012. Selen recalls vividly the moment their lives were turned upside down on November 17 last year after tests revealed Lydia had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of blood cancer that starts in white blood cells.
They were visiting family in Istanbul when Lydia first complained of sore legs and feeling exhausted. Bruises on her body, a high temperature, nose bleeds and swollen gums raised alarm bells so they went to the hospital for tests.
Selen said: “That night was the longest night of my life.
“Lydia’s blood counts were so low that we found ourselves in the special care unit.
“The specialist came rushing to the hospital. The doctors were 90 per cent sure she had leukaemia. Our family and friends arrived at the hospital and everyone was in complete shock.”
Selen then had to make a heart-breaking phone call to her husband who was working in Glasgow and explain how ill Lydia was. He booked the next flight to Turkey while Lydia started on the first round of 28 days of chemotherapy. Lydia’s hair fell out and she was too weak to walk. Just before Christmas last year she was finally well enough to fly home to Scotland to be treated at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow. She will continue to get maintenance chemotherapy until January 2018 but right now Lydia is clear of cancer.