A HELENSBURGH mum whose son has stage four brain cancer is appealing for help from her home town to raise funds for vital treatment.

Eight-year-old Sol Barrie-Douglas was first diagnosed in February 2016, and recent scans revealed tumours had started growing again.

Parents Ruth Barrie, originally from Helensburgh but now living in Portobello, Edinburgh, and William Douglas have been raising money to cover the cost of equipment and supplements.

After a period of radiotherapy and chemotherapy brought brief signs of hope, the disease returned and now the family are doing all they can to improve Sol’s quality of life as much as possible.

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Ruth’s parents, Susi and Peter still live in Helensburgh, and the family are in the process of organising a fund-raising event at the Clyde Bar in the town on Saturday, September 28.

Sol’s aunt, Ruth’s sister Jessica Barrie, oversees fund raising for the family and an appeal to raise £25,000 is already more than three-quarters of the way towards its total.

Jessica told the Advertiser: “We were told in June that the tumours had started to grow again.

“We had a year where we managed to keep them small thanks to the treatment we were providing, but it was quite a shock when we heard they were growing at a huge rate and were a lot bigger.

“For a while we had been managing to keep the growth slow, but the difference at his last scan was night and day.

“That’s why we have started a real drive on the fund raising.

“All the money we had raised previously had to go towards his treatment and equipment – things like oxygen machines, which cost £15,000, and supplements that cost £1,000 or £2,000.

“That’s not including his diet which is also really expensive.”

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Jessica has credited her big sister Ruth with being her “inspiration” for remaining so positive throughout the traumatic experience.

And she has nothing but praise for young Sol, who she says has coped with the illness in admirable fashion.

“Sol has been amazing,” she said.

“We call him ‘our little Viking’ because we’ve got Icelandic blood and he can have a really terrible day, but he just manages to fight back.

“He loves The Beatles and is always singing. He has good days and bad days, which can be upsetting for everyone, but the next day he is guaranteed to be singing.

“He is so loving and strong, and he has dealt with it so well.”

More than 500 supporters have contributed to the cause on a JustGiving page, helping freelancers Ruth and William focus on family life with Sol and his older brother Theo, 11.

Sol is now visually impaired, meaning he requires more intense day-to-day care, but the family have thanked those who have helped lift their spirits at such a testing time.

Jessica added: “It’s difficult because you are feeling your own emotions and I have always been so positive, but it knocked me.

“It’s important to stay positive, even with terrible news. Sol is here every day, and Ruth and William really need help to look after him, so we need to keep their spirits up.

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“We’re all just trying to spend as much time with him as possible.

“Sol helps me to help him and everyone else. It’s hard to feel sad because he looks so good most of the time. He makes you so happy. It’s a sad time but he is so wonderful.

“The support is amazing and we are all so grateful. Every time someone leaves a message or donation it makes you feel so much better.

“The donations are incredible. We’ve had so many anonymous people leaving £1,000 or £500 donations at a time, and it’s really lovely to know that people are out there who care.”

In addition to the planned Clyde Bar fund-raiser later this month, William’s rock ‘n roll band Miracle Glass Company are playing a concert, Love Sol 2, in Edinburgh this Sunday, September 8, from 1-10pm, featuring The View’s Kyle Falconer and other artists.

To donate to Sol’s fund-raising page, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jessica-barrie.