A BRAVE schoolboy battling a life threatening illness has inspired his gran to volunteer in hospital wards — as Inverclyde gets ready to light up for childhood leukaemia.
Little Nathan Mowat’s courage in the face of cancer has spawned the Tele-backed campaign to get major landmarks across the area to ‘glow gold’.
His mum Gillian is appealing to locals to also light up by putting candles in their windows on September 1 and have gold days throughout the month for childhood cancer awareness.
Now his gran Isobel Maxwell, left, has spoken about the heartbreak of watching her tiny grandson fight leukaemia.
She was so moved by the experience that she now volunteers at the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital in Glasgow and Calum’s Cabin for families affected by cancer.
She also paid tribute to Nathan’s parents Gillian, her daughter, and son-in-law Paul — and urged people to get behind the awareness campaign.
Isobel, 66, of Skelmorlie, said: “Nathan is such a wee star. He has helped us all through.
“I honestly don’t know how Gillian and Paul cope. They are just wonderful parents.
“I am so proud of them and of Gillian for her work with the paper.
“Until something like this happens to you, you just have no idea what families with children in hospital go through.
“We have all just pulled together, the whole family. Paul’s parents Donna and Gordon have been amazing as well.”
The grandparents take it in turns to look after Nathan’s little sister Annabel when he has to go to hospital for treatment.
Isobel said: “Gillian always has two bags packed, one for Nathan and one for Annabel. Nathan can need to go to hospital at a moment’s notice. If his temperature spikes he has to go straight in.
“Annabel is so used to having to be moved as well, but Gillian and Paul do a great job making her feel special too.”
The family were dealt a double blow when Isobel’s husband Ian lost his battle with cancer in February 2015.
Isobel added: “Gillian was a tower of strength for me when Ian was diagnosed. She is strong, like her dad.”
After Ian’s death, Isobel decided to start volunteering in the children’s ward.
She spends time with the children, often on a one-to-one basis, helping them with arts and crafts. Isobel also volunteers in Rothesay at Calum’s Cabin, which is used regularly by the family as a get away.
The proud gran, of Kilmory Gardens, added: “It has helped me too. I love it.”
Nathan’s battle with leukaemia has changed every member of the family’s life forever.
Isobel added: “One of the lessons I have learned is never to judge. When you see a child in a shop having a meltdown, you have no idea what they are going through.”
Now Isobel hopes that Inverclyde will light up to raise awareness of childhood cancer, help fund better treatments and more research.
She said: “I would urge everyone to get behind this. It is very, very important and I think people need to be more aware.”
Nathan still has another year of chemotherapy left as he fights the disease.
To support Glow Gold and get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com