Family set to raise vital funds for cancer care

Margaret Aitken and daughter Isla (8).
Margaret Aitken and daughter Isla (8).

A mother whose sporty eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia is hoping to raise more than £12,000 for charity.

Margaret Aitken and her husband, Russell, were devastated when their only daughter Isla was found to have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia following two weeks of going back and forth to the doctors.

She had complained of bad back pains at the end of October last year.

Mum Margaret (41) said the doctors at first thought it was something to do with her kidneys.

The former police officer said: “We were completely dumbfounded. It was like being hit by a bus when we got the news. She is not a girny girl so when she complained of back pain getting out of the bath we took her to the doctors to get it checked out just to be on the safe side.”

Margaret, from South Mains Road, Milngavie, also has a son Murray, aged six, and said all her neighbours and family have rallied to help.

Following the diagnosis Isla was treated at the Schiehallion Unit at Yorkhill Sick Children’s Hospital and has been responding so well to chemotherapy that she was allowed home recently and is also back at her school, Craigdhu Primary.

Margaret added: “We were told she might have to go back into hospital because chemotherapy lowers your immunity. But she is doing well and we are waiting for her white blood cell count to improve before her next round of chemotherapy.”

Isla now has an outreach nurse who comes to check on her progress. The family are now planning to raise more than £12,000 for the Schiehallion Unit for what Margaret said is the ‘‘amazing work they do’’.

She has got together a team of 64 people who are each raising a minimum of £200 in sponsorship by doing the 26 mile Kilt Walk from Hampden to Balloch. The family has also raised £500 already from Margaret’s parents and friends on the Isle of Islay where they used to live. To donate go to virginmoneygiving and enter Margaret Aitken.