Stenhousemuir girl with leukaemia launches 'Scoot in September' for Blood Cancer UK
A Stenhousemuir girl is hoping to scoot her way to some serious cash this September to raise vital funds for UK children suffering from blood cancer.
Five-year-old Mila Sneddon was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in November 2019 aged just four.
Since then, she's endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, numerous lumbar punctures and had to isolate from her father when the Covid pandemic hit in order to keep her safe during her treatment – a moment captured on camera which featured in the Duchess of Cambridge’s Hold Still photo competition.
Despite still having another eight months of her plan to go, and being on daily chemotherapy, Mila is leading the charge with her fundraising efforts for Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Blood Cancer UK.
She said: “I'm asking everyone to Scoot in September with me to help children with blood cancer.
“I love scooting with my friends because it's such a fun thing to do but it would be even more fun to raise lots of money and help other children like me.”
Scooting with her friends was one of the first things Mila wanted to do after her initial lengthy stay in hospital, but the activity also helps with her leg function which has been weakened by the treatment plan she’s on.
News of Mila’s diagnosis two years ago came as a huge shock to her family.
Only five days before finding out she had cancer, Mila had been dancing at her dad Scott’s 50th birthday, but just 72 hours later she had difficulty walking due to leg pain.
Initially, Lynda thought that anaemia might explain Mila's tiredness, as her skin appeared almost pale yellow, but at an urgent appointment her GP noticed Mila's spleen was enlarged and her legs were bruised and sore.
Rushed to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, she had a blood transfusion whilst still in her nursery uniform.
The diagnosis of Acute ALL came the next morning.
Mum Lynda, 38, said: “Mila got a quick diagnosis but it’s not the same for everyone, which is why we want to raise awareness of blood cancer symptoms, especially with parents and carers.
“People can be naive to the symptoms of blood cancer, especially when it comes to children.
“Fundraising is vital so that we can help fund more research into children and blood cancer so that all children like Mila get the chance to live a full life.
“At the moment, one in ten children die and we want to fund the research that ensures every child survives.”
The nation first met and fell in love with Mila in 2020, when a picture Lynda posted on Facebook went viral.
It showed the little girl kissing her dad through a window as they isolated in separate households.
Mila’s bravery has since been recognised by Kate Middleton, who met Mila when she took part in the Royal's Hold Still photography project.
I'm a Celebrity... hosts Ant and Dec also recorded a ‘stay at home’ message in support of Mila after hearing that she never missed a Bushtucker Trial when she was staying in hospital for treatment.
Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has given his backing to Scoot in September, as has the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.