Brave Claregalway girl Lily-Mae Morrison was enjoying some time at home this week, even taking time to do a spot of homework, after a procedure to harvest stem cells from her blood was deemed a success by doctors.
The four-year-old was diagnosed with neuroblastoma earlier this year and has since captured the hearts of the nation as her plight was highlighted through the Song for Lily-Mae campaign.
Lily-Mae underwent surgery to remove seven tumours caused by the aggressive disease in late November, before beginning a process at Crumlin Hospital to harvest stem cells from her blood to use in the treatment of her condition.
The process has been acknowledged as a success and her family are now hoping that she may be allowed to remain home for Christmas. Lily-Mae is currently waiting for an isolation bed to become available for the next part of her therapy, which involves high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell rebuild.
Meanwhile, the Song for Lily Mae campaign is urging the Galway public to buy the ‘Tiny Dancer’ charity single and get it all the way to this year’s Christmas No.1.
Stars, including Declan O’Rourke, joined hundreds of local singers a few months ago to record the single in aid of the Sunni-Mae Trust, proceeds of which go towards funding Lily-Mae’s treatment and raising awareness of neuroblastoma in Ireland.
The single has been a massive success, being endorsed by Elton John and broadcast live on the Late Late Show last week. However, it is facing tough competition for the top spot from X Factor winner James Arthur.
Organiser Stephen Macken is calling on all of Galway to get behind the campaign.
“We are delighted that the X Factor producers have chosen to support a charity with James Arthur’s single and it is a worthy charity, but it only operates its services within the UK.
“We would like people to support musicians, as it is musicians that have enabled us to do this, but if they could wait until after Christmas to buy that single and give Lily Mae a chance at the Christmas No. 1 by buying hers next week, beginning the 14 December, that would be fantastic!” he said.
Mr Macken, who is a close friend of Lily Mae’s parents Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison, also revealed that a team of motorcyclists have volunteered their services to travel to HMV stores across the country to make sure they are stocked with ‘Tiny Dancer’ discs ahead of the weekend.
“It will be in every HMV store by the weekend, so buy it as a gift, buy it as a stocking filler, buy it for friends, grandparents, neighbours, pets, whatever – just go out and buy it!”
The single is also available on iTunes for 99c and anyone wishing to make a donation directly to the Sunni-Mae Trust can log on to www.idonate.ie/lily.