A little Cupar girl undergoing gruelling cancer treatment has issued a touching appeal on behalf of other children in hospital.
Four-year-old Agatha King wants her classmates in P1 at St Columba’s Primary School to help her boost the Fairy Box charity, set up by Dundee woman Rosie Butler - whose own little girl spent long periods in hospital being treated for cancer.
The idea is that people donate new but unwanted gifts suitable for children aged 16 and under to be kept in a box in children’s wards and used to cheer them up during tough times.
Brave Agatha is even asking people to donate to the charity instead of giving her and her three-year-old brother Bacchus gifts on their forthcoming birthdays.
The school is supporting Agatha’s efforts and parents can donate items at the festive fete to be held on November 26 .
And this isn’t the first time Agatha has put others before herself since being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Before starting chemotherapy in March, Agatha opted to have her waist-length blonde hair cut off in aid of the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.
“Agatha’s hair had begun to grow back after her initial chemotherapy finished but we have now entered what’s called the delayed intensification phase of her treatment and it has fallen out again,” explained Agatha’s mum Karen.
“But having no hair doesn’t seem to bother her at all; she just takes it all in her stride.”
Meanwhile, Agatha managed to beat all the odds and achieve a milestone that Karen and her husband Kevin at one time didn’t think possible – she started school in August with her all friends.
“We didn’t know until the day before whether the consultants would give her the go- ahead to start and we were waiting on her blood numbers,” said Karen.
“They were lower than we’d have liked but, because she was well in herself, they were happy for her to start.
“It was an exciting and nerve-wracking moment for us all. It was a very restless night for us but we had an eager beaver in the morning!
“She was so pleased to be doing something normal and to see friends again.”
At the moment, Agatha is just managing to attend to school in the mornings as she has to go to Ninewells Hospital every afternoon for daily anti-fungal medication which, it’s hoped, will be finished by the middle of next month.
“She’ s currently on a heavy block of chemo and is feeling very tired,” said Karen.
“But she has asked if she can go in, even if only ‘til playtime so she can do some work!
“We’re so proud of her and we certainly shed a few tears on her first day. It was such a huge milestone – we’re just pleased she’s achieved it.”
The family also had another reason to celebrate this summer – the birth of their third child, Meredith.
“Both Agatha and Bacchus love their new little sister to bits,” said Karen.
“Life is hectic to say the least, but we just have to keep going.
“The next step is the maintenance stage, which means further chemo for the next two years.”