CHRISTMAS has been a difficult time for the family of courageous toddler Layla Greene.

The three-year-old Renfrew girl is battling a rare form of cancer, with doctors turning to an experimental course of drugs after she suffered a relapse.

Layla was diagnosed with stage four of an aggressive form of the disease, known as neuroblastoma, in March.

She has since undergone a stem cell transplant, chemotherapy but, earlier this month, her parents were told her condition has worsened.

They are now pinning their hopes on the new treatment, known as the Beacon trial, being a success.

Louise Cunningham, Layla’s mum, told The Gazette: “Doctors are prepared to do everything they can to save Layla and she has been accepted for the Beacon trial.

“She gets two blocks of chemotherapy, which last around 28 days each.

“At the moment, there is no certainty about anything and no mention of time, as we need to see the outcome of the trial drug.”

The nightmare for Louise began when doctors discovered tumours in their daughter’s kidney, liver, back and brain.

Since then, the family – including Layla’s brothers Robert, 10, and 12-year-old Matthew – have tried to stay strong and make sure she is as comfortable as possible.

She had surgery to remove the majority of her tumours and, in September, started high-dose chemotherapy.

Layla also underwent a stem cell transplant in a bid to regenerate bone marrow before undergoing a month-long spell of radiotherapy.

However, news of the relapse has been a major blow for her loved ones.

Louise, 32, said: “The fight has been a rollercoaster and Layla has undergone some intensive treatment and procedures.

“After her last big operation, things went really well but she caught pneumonia and had three seizures.

“A scan showed tumours are now in her head and spreading down her spine, back, arms and legs.”

While doctors are prepared to do everything they can for Layla, they have told her family there are no guarantees the new treatment will be successful.

They have also advised them that, in the meantime, they should start making a ‘fun memories’ list for Layla, containing various activities that will bring a smile to her face.

With this in mind, the family has set up a JustGiving page, with around £3,000 being raised within the first fortnight.

Louise said: “While there is no guarantee this treatment will work, we still have hope.

“In the meantime, we want to make as many happy memories with her as we can.

“She wants to have a princess party and arrive in a pink limo. She also wants to see her auntie in Ireland, to ride her horse.

“After seeing a motorbike drive past, she now wants to ride one herself and go on a helicopter too.

“There is so much for Layla still to see and do and she is ready for the fight of her life now.

“Negativity will only crush you, so we are going to keep on fighting.”

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

Despite her illness, Layla and her family have still found time to think of others.

After her diagnosis, she became the face of the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity’s Schiehallion Appeal, which set a target of raising £500,000 to support young cancer patients across Scotland.

The aim is to raise enough cash to fund the expansion of a unique clinical trials centre.

Now others are being encouraged to rally round Layla by supporting the JustGiving page.

To find out more about Layla’s journey and how to get involved in fundraising, visit

To donate money for Layla’s memories list, visit