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19 November 2014, 06:00
A charity is honouring the courage of children with cancer as new figures show more youngsters are surviving the disease.
Hollie Taylor, who turns three this week, is fronting the Little Star awards launch in Scotland run by Cancer Research UK and backed by famous names including singer Emeli Sande.
Overall survival has doubled in the last 40 years and three-quarters of children with cancer are now cured compared to only a quarter in the early 1970s, thanks to research and improved treatments, the charity said.
Hollie, from Falkirk, is on the road to recovery after being diagnosed with a rare form of the disease last year.
She received surgery as well as enduring 30 weeks of chemotherapy and daily radiotherapy sessions before tests revealed in July this year that all that is left is a 1cm mass which may only be scar tissue and not cancer at all. The toddler, who is getting regular check ups, is doing well.
Her mother Elaine McDowall, 35, said: "Hollie is my little star and has actually kept all our family strong through the toughest year of our lives.
"It was just devastating when I was told Hollie had cancer. It felt like I was in a black hole. I remember standing at the window of the hospital ward looking out at all the cars on the motorway and thinking, 'how is life continuing as normal for everyone else when it's like my life has stopped altogether?''
Family and friends of young cancer patients from across Scotland who deserve special recognition are being urged to nominate them at cruk.org/littlestar. The awards are open to all under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years.