A Moray mum has spoken frankly about her daughter’s traumatic cancer battle to raise awareness of the realities of the disease.
Gail Paterson’s five-year-old daughter Eileidh died last month after a brave fight against neuroblastoma – which involved ticking off a “bucket list” including swimming with mermaids and visiting Disneyland.
The Forres youngster won hearts across the globe after a video of her “marrying” her six-year-old friend Harrison Grier in a Disney-inspired ceremony went viral.
But despite all the happy times, Ms Paterson admitted there were terrible days – and in a lengthy post online, laid bare the realities of Eileidh’s illness.
The post, published in full on The Press and Journal website today, lays out Eileidh’s journey from being diagnosed aged just two, overcoming the illness and then dealing with intense medical treatment after relapsing last spring.
Ms Paterson originally put off publishing the post but said she felt the reality of the condition was “too important to hide”.
She said: “Many people saw Eileidh smiling, happy and running around but that was only small parts of a day. Most of the time she was too sore and tired to do anything other than lie down.”
She added: “I prefer everyone to remember Eileidh and be able to smile. However, this is the reality of neuroblastoma, showing how quickly and aggressively things can change.”
Ms Paterson said if the post helped even one child be diagnosed earlier and save their life, this would be Eileidh’s legacy. She also praised hospital staff and those who supported her daughter – including charity Solving Kids’ Cancer.
A spokeswoman for the organisation said: “Children diagnosed with neuroblastoma go through an incredibly tough time.
“By sharing Eileidh’s story, mum Gail is helping to raise awareness of the disease.”
This post was first published by The Press and Journal.