A brave Moray toddler who spent last Christmas recovering from radiotherapy will be celebrating the big day this year cancer-free.
Twelve months ago Eileidh Paterson was undergoing gruelling treatment to combat high risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer she was diagnosed with in May last year.
This Christmas Day, the three-year-old will spend the day surrounded by family at her home in Forres after her most recent tests revealed there is no sign of the disease coming back after she was given the all-clear this summer.
Last night, the tots’ mother Gail Paterson said Eileidh had been poorly with pneumonia recently, but that her Christmas spirit was as strong as ever.
She said: “Last Christmas Eileidh had just returned home after radiotherapy in Glasgow, so everything was really rushed and we weren’t able to appreciate it.
“She is on a ten-day course of antibiotics at the moment because doctors in Michigan found that she had pneumonia.
“But it has been caught quite early and it doesn’t seem to bother her.
“This year Eileidh is just loving Christmas, and is very excited by the whole thing.
“She is getting very excited about Santa visiting – she doesn’t care about what she gets as long as he leaves her a present or two.”
In spring, Eileidh’s family launched a fundraising crusade to ensure she could receive a course of medication in America to conquer the illness.
Kind-hearted residents from across the north-east rallied behind them and raised more than £125,000.
Eileidh and her family travelled to Michigan for her first round of treatment, a journey they have since undertaken twice for more tests.
The toddler has been given medication currently unavailable in the UK, which is designed to prevent the condition returning.
During her most recent trip to America this month, Eileidh got to take part in some of the country’s festive customs.
One highlight was meeting the Macy’s department store Santa Claus.
“Eileidh was in her element at getting to meet Santa and was chatting away to him quite the thing,” her mother said.
“She hadn’t really been able to do anything like that before, and it was magical seeing her there.”
Earlier this week, Solving Kids’ Cancer – the charity Eileidh fronts – revealed that a big-hearted donor has pledged £10,000 if it can encourage 10,000 people to ‘like’ its Facebook page by today .
The charity is still appealing for help with around 5,000 likes yet to gain.
To help, visit the charity’s ‘Solving Kids’ Cancer – Europe’ Facebook page.