Edinburgh light show honours young lost to cancer

Beams of light will illuminate the Capital's skies as part of a poignant tribute to children who have lost their lives to cancer.

Beau Barron and her brother Hugo. Picture: contributed
Beau Barron and her brother Hugo. Picture: contributed

A group of Edinburgh parents has spearheaded plans to have iconic structures lit up in gold tomorrow in honour of Child Cancer Awareness month.

Landmarks will be bathed in gold, with Edinburgh Castle, St Andrew’s House and the National Galleries of Scotland among the high-profile buildings joining the campaign.

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A special tribute will also be paid to young cancer patients who have lost their lives tomorrow, when 12 beams will light up the heavens from St Andrew’s Square until the early hours of the morning.

Leith-based lighting firm NL Productions will mount the display to remember children including three-year-old Kai Laidlaw, who lost his battle with leukaemia earlier this year, teenage Hibs fan Leon Rendle and schoolboy Jak Trueman, who raised more than £35,000 for charity before his death from a rare form of blood cancer last year.

Emma Barron, one of the organisers, was inspired to get involved as her daughter Beau, now ten, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just two-years-old.

Emma, 39, of Comely Bank, said: “It is a tribute to the children who have been lost to child cancer.

“The rest of the campaign is focused on raising awareness but we wanted to make sure we did something for the children that have been lost, to make sure we remember them.

“It is important for the children in treatment and their families to see there is support and hope, but I think the families who have lost a child sometimes feel sidelined.

“There’s such a lack of funding for support and services for bereavement, we want to make sure they are included.”

Another parent taking part in the campaign is Pamela Neilson, whose son Kai’s fight against cancer captured hearts through a social media page documenting his journey.

Pam, of Leith, said: “It’s such a beautiful and emotional tribute to a number of children from the area who have sadly lost their fight.

“I think Kai would have loved the whole thing. He enjoyed having this torch when he was really little and playing with the beams of light.

“Maybe the light will reach him now.”

She called for greater recognition of childhood cancer, which affects more than 300 children and young people each year in Scotland. Pam, 39, said: “We need to realise that it isn’t rare and it is real.

“It doesn’t matter what background you come from, as it doesn’t discriminate.

“The only thing we can do is raise awareness and try to help people pick it up sooner.

“I know Kai’s life mattered and I have to make his death make a difference. There is nothing else I can do but make things better for future children.”

The Capital’s buildings will join iconic landmarks such as The Kelpies, Gateshead 
Millennium Bridge and Belfast Castle in glowing gold, while illuminations will take 
place further afield in Australia, the United States and India.

The Luminations of Love display will run from 8:45pm to 1am from September 1-8 in St Andrew’s Square.

Please visit www.facebook.com/GlowGoldSeptember or tweet @glowgoldkids, and tag your posts #glowgold #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth #CCAM.