WHEN you’re a child, the world is supposed to be full of wonder and discovery.

It should be a time for your parents to joyfully watch you grow without a care in the world.

However, for three-year-old Layla Greene and her family, life took a dark turn when she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer known as neuroblastoma.

Fewer than 100 children in the UK are diagnosed with the illness each year.

In March, doctors discovered tumours in Layla’s kidney, liver, back and brain, leaving her parents Louise Cunningham and David Greene devastated.

And, to mark this year’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, 31-year-old Louise is speaking out about her experience, in the hope it will help other parents.

She told The Gazette: “It is just life shattering when you get news like that because you do not expect it.

“For the first few weeks, I was just walking around as if I was floating. I wasn’t taking it in. You go through so many emotions, especially as there was no sign of anything being especially wrong with Layla.

“I think people need to be aware that neuroblastoma doesn’t have any major signs. Layla just had a cough and a cold. She went off her food and didn’t sleep much but every child does that from time to time.

“If you think there is something wrong, make sure you get your child checked out. Even if doctors don’t think it’s anything to begin with, if you’re not convinced, push for something more to be done.”

Layla, who has two older brothers, has been doing well and had the vast majority of her tumours removed during surgery at the children’s ward in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital a couple of weeks ago.

Later this month, she will start high-dose chemotherapy and will then undergo a stem cell transplant in a bid to regenerate bone marrow.

That’s all before going through a month-long spell of radiotherapy.

Louise admits she is amazed by her daughter’s courage.

She said: “Layla just seems to have such an incredible pain threshold. She is an inspiration.

“People say we bounce off each other and I think that’s true. She’s a little fighter and keeps me strong.”

Layla recently became the face of the Schiehallion Appeal, which is aiming to raise £500,000 to support young cancer patients in Scotland.

The cash would be used to fund the expansion of a unique clinical trials centre.

To make a donation, visit www.glasgowchildrenshospitalcharity.org/schiehallion.

You can also support Layla’s family by going online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michelle-kelly.