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Written by on 29/08/2016

A Dunoon mum is campaigning for local landmarks to be illuminated in gold to raise awareness of childhood cancer.

Rachel Hayes is championing a national appeal which aims to transform the appearance of recognisable Scottish buildings during September.

Ms Hayes’s son Thomas was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a high-risk form of childhood cancer, five years ago.

After battling through intensive treatments, including 8 weeks in Jacksonville, Florida for Proton Beam Therapy, the tumour was  finally declared stable and dormant. Thomas will be 10 in August, and although the tumour is dormant, he still suffers from long term health issues caused by the treatments he received.

His mum is determined to make other parents aware of the signs of childhood cancer.

Ms Hayes said it would be fitting if landmarks in Dunoon and Argyll & Bute  were bathed in golden light as part of the Glow Gold September drive.

Along with her mum, Pat Hayes, she has approached the Castle Hill Museum to ask them to take part in the campaign and light up Gold in September. .

“So many people in Dunoon were so generous towards Thomas and I, it would only seem right that buildings here are part of Glow Gold September”, she said.

“Childhood cancer is still such a taboo subject, and we need to raise awareness as much as we can.

“I never thought it would happen to us, I’d never heard of Rhabdomyosarcoma before Thomas was diagnosed.

“The earlier it can be caught, the better chance that child has.”

Ms Hayes said that Thomas is still affected by his cancer battle and the treatments he underwent to combat the disease.

A series of chemotherapy sessions damaged Thomas’s teeth, he has neuropathy (nerve damage) in his hands and feet, cataracts in both eyes, and he also has to have daily growth hormone injections as his pituitary gland was damaged by the Proton treatment.


Edinburgh Castle, the Kelpies structure in Falkirk, His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen and the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow and the Falkirk Wheel to name just a few,will all be illuminated gold during September.

Local businesses who wish to take part are asked to e-mail Pat Hayes at