Tiny dancer Lily-Mae for Baboró children’s festival

Now three years cancer free, Galway schoolgirl will dance cameo role in ballet

Three years after going into remission following a serious illness, Galway schoolgirl Lily-Mae Morrison (8) has been cast in a dance part in the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.

Lily-Mae, who was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, a rare and extremely aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system, in June 2012, has a cameo role in Alice Underground with Youth Ballet West at Galway's Town Hall Theatre next weekend.

When she became ill, the girl's uncle, Paul Hayes, began a fundraising campaign for his niece, culminating in the release of a cover of Elton John's Tiny Dancer. Lily-Mae became connected to the song's title.

"Lily-Mae is flying it," her mother, Judith Sibley, said yesterday, as the Baboró festival opened. "It was three years on October 17th that we were told she was cancer-free, and one year since she finished treatment in the US."

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times