THE family of an Erskine girl fighting a rare and aggressive cancer have welcomed a decision to fund a treatment on the NHS that could offer her fresh hope.

Rebecca McKenna was diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma in January this year.

Her parents, Chris and Vicky, are pinning their hopes on a new treatment that has just been approved in Scotland and a vaccine, only available in New York, which could help prevent her high-relapse rate cancer returning.

READ MORE: Family appeal goes on for Rebecca McKenna's cancer treatment

Children with neuroblastoma need many rounds of complex and gruelling treatments, including chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Even if treatment is successful, there is an 80 per cent chance of it coming back – and fewer than half of children diagnosed with it will survive.

Next month, four-year-old Rebecca will begin a course of the immunotherapy drug Qarziba, which has been shown to reduce the chance of recurrence by 20 per cent and is already available elsewhere in the UK.

Chris, 38, and Vicky, 34, are also celebrating achieving a fundraising target of £140,000 to send Rebecca to the world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, in New York, next year for a vaccine which also aims to prevent a life-threatening relapse.

Speaking to our sister paper The Evening Times, Chris said: “For children with neuroblastoma, there is an 80 per cent chance of it recurring. The drug that she is starting could reduce this by 20 per cent.

“It may not sound like a huge number but, for us, it is absolutely massive.”

Rebecca was diagnosed on January 1 this year after complaining of sore legs, which her parents attributed to growing pains.

Her family say she has coped well with rigorous treatment at the Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow.

Chris said: “Some children really struggle with the treatment but she has sailed through it.

“It’s been hard, mentally and financially, but we’ve got there.

“If it wasn’t for Rebecca, I don’t know where we would be because she has been so strong.

READ MORE: New hope for Erskine tot Rebecca after 4-hour tumour op

“At the moment, she’s just a normal little girl. Apart from not having any hair, you would never know. She’s just a normal wee girl who loves to sing and dance. That’s all she does.

“We start the new treatment next month. All going well, it’s only a couple of hospital stays. She gets it through a Hickman line in hospital but, once she comes home, it will be delivered in a wee backpack.”