Brave Brownie, Isla the Smiler, awarded ‘guiding star’ after brain tumour diagnosis
- Credit: Archant
An eight-year-old girl from Doddington who “always has a smile on her face” despite having cancer has been commended for her “exceptional courage and determination in challenging situations”.
Isla McNulty, who is a member of the 2nd Doddington Brownies, was nominated for the Girlguiding ‘Guiding Star’ award having suffered 18 months of illness before being diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2020.
Since then, Isla has undergone weeks of daily radiotherapy and ongoing chemotherapy, with many more weeks of treatment to come.
Jane Groves, Isla’s former Rainbow leader and local district commissioner, said: “She is always smiling and is known far and wide as ‘Isla the Smiler’.
“Throughout all this time Isla still had a smile on her face whenever you saw her and did not allow this physical sickness to stop her enjoying life.
“Her bravery then was immense but now it is unbelievable! Isla has a long road ahead of her but we truly believe that she really is a ‘Guiding Star’.”
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The national Girlguiding Awards committee said they were “really moved” by the nomination from Rebecca Fisher, Isla’s Brownie leader, and Jane, which was done without Isla or her family knowing about it.
The committee said: “Isla is an exceptionally brave girl who is coping with her difficulties with a resilience and resourcefulness way beyond her seven years.
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“Known for her smiling and positive outlook, Isla has been able to cope her all her challenges and kept on taking part in her Brownie activities.
“Her Brownie friends speak warmly of how kind and helpful she is despite the fact she is very poorly.
“Adults are amazed at how well she copes and the determination she shows. We are delighted to award Isla a Guiding Star.”
Isla received the award in a socially distanced but emotional ceremony in Isla’s front garden in the presence of Ann Mitchell MBE, president of Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East, who took along the county standard.
It was witnessed by Isla’s parents, and her sister, Enya, a member of Rainbows in Doddington, with her Brownie leaders standing back at a distance.