BRAVE Lochgelly tot Ava Stark is to become the face of a promotional campaign blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
The plucky tot, who celebrated her fourth birthday on January 27, has been chosen to lead an awareness campaign encouraging more people to join its donor register.
Ava, whose happy smile his her serious illness, was diagnosed with inherited bone marrow failure and was at higher risk of developing cancer or leukaemia unless she had a stem-cell transplant that would allow her immune system to fight off infection.
Mum Marie, of Sunnyside Place, launched an emotional appeal in the Times last summer for more people to take the simple swab test that could identify a possible donor, which paid off in November when two matching donors were found after previously suffering heartache when donors that were found pulled out.
More than 100 days have now passed since the procedure took place and Marie said: "We have now got confirmation that Princess Ava will be the face of Anthony Nolan posters and promotional leaflets.
"To say this is amazing is not enough. When we were faced with having two donors pulling out, we soon realised that there wasn't enough awareness regarding donation of stem cells, blood or platelets.
"Then we were contacted by the local fire department who regularly run and hold events/drivers to get more people to register and sign up. Ava popped along to meet the team and they discussed many things; it was then decided that they would use Ava and her story.
"They are amazing and without everyone coming forward we wouldn't be in the position we are in now."
In November the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who have an award-winning partnership with the Anthony Nolan Trust, stepped in to help when Ava missed out on a transplant for the second time in four months when a donor was unable to donate due to medical reasons.
They held an open patient appeal in partnership with Lochgelly High School, who themselves held an in-school clinic, which saw 139 register with the charity as donors.
The publicity generated by Ava's story saw her search for a donor end with success and an Anthony Nolan spokesperson added: "Ava’s appeal was an enormous milestone in our history – in just a few days, we saw over 20,000 people flooding to join the register in support of a truly courageous little girl.
"Thank you so much to everyone who showed their support, shared our posts, raised money, and spread the word online. And thank you to Marie, Ava and family – we owe them so much, and we won’t forget it!
"#SaveAva made a huge difference, and it’ll continue to make a huge difference – to Ava, and to people going through the same situation, across the UK and beyond."