Brave Lily Douglas’s dream to perform with dancers of the Scottish Ballet came true this weekend.
The 11-year-old from Perth, who has been battling rare cancer Ewing’s Sarcoma, was invited backstage at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal, where she met principal dancers before joining them on stage.
An avid dancer herself, Lily was delighted with Saturday’s surprise, which came as part of Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary Make a Wish campaign.
The St John’s RC Primary School pupil thought she was attending a workshop at the theatre and was stunned when she was invited to explore the dancers’ dressing rooms to see the costumes and props.
She also received a special video message from ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell.
Afterwards, she was invited on stage where she was presented with her own bejewelled pointe shoes by principal dancer Christopher Harrison.
Lily then joined the audience with her family and friends to enjoy the dance company’s production of Cinderella.
Lily’s mum, Jane Douglas, said: “I can’t believe Lily’s wish was chosen for Make a Wish.
“When I found out I was over the moon. It was so difficult to keep the news a secret but the surprise was worth it.
“From the minute we arrived, we were made to feel so welcome by Scottish Ballet and it was an incredible experience.
“Lily had an amazing day and she loved being part of the company.”
The brave youngster is battling through the latest round of chemotherapy for the bone marrow cancer.
It was hoped she had beaten cancer last year after groundbreaking therapy in the US – but she suffered a setback in October when specialists discovered the disease had returned and spread.
The surprise was one of five wishes which are being granted by the ballet company, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Lily was nominated by a family friend, alongside 400 other submissions and more than 100,000 public votes were cast before the winners were chosen.
The top 50 were presented to a judging panel including Dame Darcey Bussell, Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Janice Forsyth, Scottish Ballet chief executive Christopher Hampson and principal dancer Christopher Harrison.
Mr Hampson said: “We received an overwhelming number of wishes to our Make a Wish campaign and it was incredibly difficult to select five wishes.
“The judging panel was, however, unanimous in wanting to make Lily’s wish come true and for Scottish Ballet to share the magic of dance with them.
“We are looking forward to thanking people for their continued support of Scottish Ballet, as we help to make the wishes come true in the company’s 50th anniversary year.”
The remaining four winning wishes will be announced at the end of the month.