A BRAVE schoolgirl has made it home in time for Christmas despite being in the middle of a cancer treatment never before attempted in Scotland.
A delighted Mackenzie Furniss posed for pictures next to the Christmas tree at the family home in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, she has not seen for months.
The nine-year-old is undergoing an experimental stem cell treatment that has been described as the last chance to save her life.
Mackenzie, who is suffering from an advanced form of cancer, posted on Facebook: “I am hooooooooooooome!”
Mackenzie has been a patient at Glasgow’s Yorkhill Hospital since October. She has been kept in isolation for most of the time to reduce the chances of infection.
She suffers from neuroblastoma, the only remaining treatment for which is a haploidentical stem cell transplant.
The experimental procedure, devised by German doctor Peter Lang, has never been carried out in Scotland before.
Mackenzie needed chemotherapy to break down her bone marrow before the transplant could even begin.
Her father, Jason Furniss, 39, donated 21 million of his stem cells to Mackenzie which have been given to her over the past few weeks.
Even after this round of treatment ends, the schoolgirl faces months of follow-up treatment in Germany next year.
She will make several trips to the Kinder Klinik in Stuttgart to receive treatment to prevent rejection of her father’s stem cells.
Christmas back home
But Mackenzie’s thoughts are currently on spending Christmas Day at home with her father, mother, Kimberley, 29, and younger sisters, Taylor and Addison.
Family and friends expressed their delight at the youngster’s return hom on Facebook.
Ashely Cameron said: “OMG!! that’s amazing! good on you girl, so proud of you!! have an amazing xmas huni! xxxx”
Melanie Leitch said: “Merry xmas and hope you get lots of lovely things and most important spending time with you family xxxxxxxx”
After coming out of isolation last week, Mackenzie got an early Christmas treat by spending a day with her best friend, Carly, who visited her in hospital.
Her family faced a fundraising mountain to climb at the start of the year, needing £300,000 to fund the procedure. It went ahead after the Scottish Government offered cash help.
Despite the intense treatment, Mackenzie has remained upbeat and lively, even making a number of music videos from her hospital room.
As a special thank you to American pop star, Pink, who donated $10,000 to her treatment, the youngster made a video singing and dancing along to the star’s song So What, which Mackenzie dubbed her “Chemo Dance.”