Teenage cancer patients raise £250k to improve services
Two teenage cancer patients who staged a ball to improve services for other young people in hospital have raised more than £250,000.
Molly Cuddihy, 17, and Sara Millar, 16, met in a teenage common room at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
After witnessing a younger boy being asked to leave they vowed to help set up a pre-teen facility in the Schiehallion Unit.
They also used the event to thank NHS staff who looked after them.
Molly, from Gourock, Inverclyde, said: "I am honestly speechless and overwhelmed at the kindness, support and generosity of our guests as well as the many, many individuals and organisations who were unable to join us but nonetheless have supported our efforts.
"This will make a difference for all of the kids, now and in the future."
Sara, from Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, said: "We were particularly grateful to have had the opportunity to welcome so many of the wonderful NHS Staff who have cared and still care for us.
"Our Every Thank You Counts ball has afforded us the opportunity to thank and pay tribute to these wonderful people and the incredible work that they do for us, not only in the Schiehallion and Paediatric Intensive Care Units, but across the wider NHS."
The pair were both undergoing life-saving treatment when they were introduced in a common room supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The facility - furnished with comfy chairs and includes a pool table, TVs, games consoles, dining table and a fridge stocked with treats - offers an escape from a gruelling programme of treatment.
After cheering up a younger patient by setting up the PlayStation they were dismayed when he had to leave because the unit was restricted to teenagers.
A new facility catering for children too old for the playroom but too young for the teenager's common room has now been given the green light by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Donors who pledged money to their campaign included X Factor judge Simon Cowell, who met the girls earlier this year.
Paediatric haematologist Prof Brenda Gibson was among the NHS staff who attended the gala event in Glasgow on Saturday.
She said: "I am astounded but very pleased by the amount of money raised at the ball and by the support expressed and given to the Schiehallion Unit on the evening.
"Sara and Molly are astonishing.
"We promise to use this money as wisely as possible to help the children in our unit."