Sister act raises £2,500

Leah and mum Gillian.
Leah and mum Gillian.

An eight-year-old Cumbernauld girl was so determined to help children like her wee sister Alisha, aged six, she organised a sponsored haircut - and raised a fortune.

Leah’s dad, Mark Whyteside, said he was proud when she told him she wanted to help Glasgow’s Yorkhill children’s hospital.

Alisha has been treated there for leukaemia, and is said to be responding well to treatment.

Her parents praise Dr Kirkpatrick at Central Health Centre, whose prompt diagnosis led to Alisha being admitted to hospital next day - Mark commenting: “it could very well have saved her life”.

The fundraising effort Alisha has inspired will also give a boost to the Little Princes Trust - a charity which provides quality wigs for children suffering hair loss because of radiography treatment.

But along with the girls’ mum Gillian he was astounded to find Leah’s selfless gesture had inspired a massive local “viral” campaign.

In next to no time 1,200 people had joined Team Alisha on Facebook and a fully-fledged fundraising operation was underway.

Mark said: “To cap it all Carbrain Boys Club spontaneously organised a charity football match and raised £100 all by themselves.

“And then we discovered a charity night had been organised at Condorrat Social Club.”

He added: “It has been an incredible effort by everyone concerned - and this was all well before Leah had even had her hair cut.

Inevitably Alisha’s other two sisters, Lucy, 7, and Olivia, 3, are also well aware of the amazing effort Alisha’s condition has inspired.

Mark said: “In under one week Leah has raised over £2,500 through a Justgiving page.

“Family friend Sian Murray is also getting her hair cut short and is having a charity night at Condorrat Social Club on Friday May 23, to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. She is also donating her hair to the Little Princes Trust.

“Alisha’s school, Ravenswood Primary, had an Orange day on Friday to raise money - orange ribbon stands for leukaemia awareness.

“The Salon in Condorrat are running a hair and beauty lottery to raise money for Yorkhill Childrens Trust, and facilitated Leah’s hair cut.

“Many other friends are also raising money - the support we have received has been absolutely amazing.”