The mum of a little girl diagnosed with a rare cancer has said the first warning signs of her illness were night sweats.
Little Mila Sneddon, now six, first became poorly in November 2019 and her parents Lynda and Scott were worried she may be anaemic.
After the relatively mild symptoms persisted, a visit to her GP found her spleen was enlarged and she was sent to hospital for further tests.
Mila’s blood results on November 19 confirmed the worst, she had leukaemia.
“To say we were devastated is an understatement – we were completely heartbroken,” Lynda, 39, told NeedToKnow.online.
“We thought this was a death sentence until we were able to gather our thoughts and speak to the consultant.”
They found that Mila had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – a type of blood cancer – and she spent the next two-and-a-half years receiving treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow.
She went through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, steroid treatments, blood and platelet transfusions, lumbar punctures and needed a feeding tube fitted.
The family were supported throughout the horrific ordeal by Blood Cancer UK, who assisted them and provided educational resources.
The situation was complicated further by national lockdown restrictions.
And a picture of Mila waving to Scott, 52, through a window while in isolation going viral and appearing in Kate Middleton’s lockdown photography book, Hold Still.
The youngster finally got the all-clear in March 2022.
While her family were thrilled, they are committed to raising awareness and the warning signs parents must watch out for.
Lynda said: “We had mixed feelings. On one hand, we were completely elated and so proud and happy Mila had finished treatment – this was a monumental milestone for Mila and allowed her life to return to a new normal.
“For Scott and I, we still feel vulnerable and are having to adjust to our new normal. It has made us more vigilant as parents and we want to share signs and symptoms with the world.”
Mila’s story recently gained nationwide attention after the Duchess of Cambridge sent a handwritten letter to congratulate her on the end of her treatment, a year after meeting her back in May 2021.
The family are now backing the latest Omaze Million Pound House Draw, which will raise crucial funds for Blood Cancer UK.
It will see a £3 million 4,200sq ft home in Cornwall being up given away as a prize in a charity draw, with tickets costing £10.
The house will be mortgage-free, with all stamp duty and legal fees also covered.
The winner will even get £50,000 cash to help them settle in,and is free to either live in the house, rent it out or sell it.
Lynda added: “There isn’t a better charity I can think of that could be more deserving of this support.
“Blood cancer is the most common childhood cancer and we did not know this prior to Mila’s diagnosis.
“The publicity that the Omaze draw will bring can only be a huge benefit for others – helping to raise awareness for Blood Cancer and early detection signs.”