A Tayside dancing champion is fighting “the toughest of battles” after a sore shoulder turned out to be an advanced form of rare cancer.
Lily Douglas, from Perth, was taking part in a competition three weeks ago when she complained of pain.
The nine-year-old’s family could never have foreseen that a subsequent trip to the doctor would reveal that she was battling stage four Ewing’s sarcoma.
Only 30 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease every year.
Lily, who competes in ballet, stage and freestyle dancing, is currently undergoing treatment at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Since news broke of her illness, a host of fundraisers have been organised to help support her family – including one by Inspire Studio in Perth where Lily dances, which raised more than £10,000 in just 24 hours.
Lily’s mum Jane, 47, originally from Fintry, told the Tele her daughter was “so brave”.
She said: “I just want to thank everyone for their messages of support.
“I also want to thank Lily’s dance families at JGN Dance Attic and Inspire Studio, and other dance schools all over Scotland for offering their support and giving money that Lily may need in the future for treatment or anything that makes her smile and gives her hope.
“I want to tell everyone that she will win this battle as she is so strong — she is a wee fighter.
“Lily’s story is also raising awareness of this horrible disease.”
Inspire Studio owner Brooke Robertson said: “Lily had a wee bit of a sore neck for a few weeks and we thought it was sport-related.
“Her mum took her to the doctor and she was referred to Ninewells where they did loads of tests.
“After that she was sent to the Sick Kids for an MRI.”
Doctors found that the cancer had spread throughout the youngster’s body — it had started in her leg and then moved into her lungs and shoulder.
Brooke added: “Lily is a champion. The outlook is very bad but if anyone can beat this then it is her.
“There was no warning, no symptoms — life has handed her the toughest of battles.”