Five-year-old Mila Sneddon is taking on Scoot in September to raise funds for children with blood cancer
1st Sep 2021
The scooting star captured the nations hearts – including those of the Duchess of Cambridge and Ant & Dec – during lockdown when forced to isolate from her Dad during treatment
Five-year-old Mila Sneddon from Falkirk is hoping to scoot her way to some serious cash this September to raise vital funds for UK children with blood cancer.
Mila was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in November 2019 at the age of just four. Since then, she's endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, numerous lumbar punctures and having to isolate from her father when the Covid-19 pandemic hit to keep her safe during her treatment; a moment that was captured on camera and featured in the Duchess of Cambridge’s Hold Still photo competition.
Despite still having another eight months of her plan to go – and being on daily chemotherapy – Mila is leading the charge this September with her fundraising efforts for Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
Mila said: “I'm asking everyone to Scoot in September with me to help children with blood cancer. I love scooting with my friends because it's such a fun thing to do but it would be even more fun to raise lots of money and help other children like me.”
Scooting with her friends was one of the first things Mila wanted to do after her initial lengthy stay in hospital, but the activity also helps with her leg function, which has been weakened by her treatment.
Mila’s diagnosis two years ago came as a huge shock to her family. Only five days before finding out she had cancer, Mila had been dancing on the dancefloor at her dad Scott’s 50th birthday, but just 72 hours later she found difficulty in walking due to leg pain.
Initially, Lynda thought that anaemia might explain Mila's tiredness, as her skin appeared almost pale yellow, but at an urgent appointment her GP noticed Mila's spleen was enlarged and her legs were bruised and sore. Rushed to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, she had a blood transfusion whilst still in her nursery uniform. Next morning came the diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
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Mila's Mum Lynda, 38, said: “Mila got a quick diagnosis, but it’s not the same for everyone, which is why we want to raise awareness of blood cancer symptoms, especially with parents and carers. People can be naive to the symptoms of blood cancer, especially when it comes to children. Fundraising is vital so that we can help fund more research into children and blood cancer so that all children like Mila get the chance to live a full life. At the moment, one in 10 children die, and we want to fund the research that ensures every child survives.”
The nation first met, and fell in love with Mila in 2020, when a picture that Mum Lynda posted on Facebook went viral. It showed the little girl kissing her Dad through a window as they isolated in separate households.
Mila’s bravery has since been recognised by the Duchess of Cambridge who met Mila when she took part in the royal's Hold Still photography project. I'm a Celebrity... hosts Ant & Dec also recorded a 'stay at home' message in support of Mila after hearing that she never missed a Bushtucker Trial when she was staying in hospital for treatment.
Scottish MSP Michael Matheson has already given his backing to ‘Scoot in September’, as has the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who will all be taking to their scooters this month. Mila and Mum Lynda will launch the campaign live on ITV's Lorraine Show on Wednesday 1 September.
Matt White, Director of Fundraising at Blood Cancer UK, said: “Research has made huge progress over the last few decades, and has transformed childhood blood cancer into a disease that most children thankfully now survive. But it often leads to serious side effects and one in every 10 children dies. We will not rest until research takes us to the day where every child survives, and we are so grateful for Mila and her family’s efforts to raise money that takes us a step closer to that day.
Her extraordinary fundraising efforts, when she’s going through such a difficult, and frankly often painful, time herself is truly inspirational. If you and your family can get involved in Scoot in September please do so. But if scooting isn’t your thing then any donation towards Mila’s efforts will help fund potentially life-saving research for other children like her.”
Support Mila's Scoot in September
Join Mila and help raise money for research to help children and adults with blood cancer.