Humble Troon girl inundated with celebrity support
A BRAVE Scottish girl battling cancer has enlisted some of the world’s biggest stars as her Twitter followers – including Samuel L Jackson.
The backing of A-listers such as Jackson has helped Vanessa Riddle’s family raise almost £900,000 for specialist treatment in Germany.
The 12-year-old suffers from neuroblastoma and has already endured a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, retinoic acid treatment, twelve rounds of high dose chemotherapy, two seven-hour operations and had one of her kidneys removed.
Impressed by her bravery and determination, celebrities have been lining up to join more than 16,000 Twitter users who follow the girl from Troon, South Ayrshire.
Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson only follows 305 people on Twitter, and @vanessariddle is one of them.
On hearing the news that Vanessa is heading to Germany at the end of the month for stem cell treatment, Jackson tweeted: “All Good! @vanessariddle Fighting w/U!!!!”
Vanessa’s dad Chris said the support from the film star – who doesn’t even follow Pulp Fiction co-writer and director Quentin Tarantino – was just one of a long list of celebrity fans.
He said: “She’s had everyone from Samuel L Jackson to Jessie J sending her tweets.
“It’s nice for Vanessa to log on and see who the latest celebrity is to be getting in touch.”
Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle tweeted: “Vanessa.. Why did the snail take off his shell? Because he was feeling a bit sluggish!! love + best wishes xx”
Other global celebs include singer Gloria Estefan who tweeted: “Hey there Vanessa! Heard ur going thru a tough time.We can help in our own healing.Imagine ur perfect body!Sending prayers!XO!”
Singing star Jessie J tweeted: “Hello RT @vanessariddle.”
Vanessa, who was cheered by 50,000 football fans as she carried out the Scottish Communities League Cup at Hampden in March earlier this year, also includes Fonz star Henry Winkler, funk star Bootsy Collins, Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and R n B star Sean Paul.
Closer to home, Lorraine Kelly said: “Great result! RT @vanessariddle: Great watching @LauraTrott31just win GOLD for #TeamGB, Yessssss”
And Duncan Bannatyne, business tycoon from Dragon’s Den, said: “Please follow @vanessariddle and read her story.”
Vanessa’s illness was diagnosed in February 2009 and after three years of gruelling treatment she is due to participate in a nine-month treatment programme in the small town of Tubingen.
Chris said the trip to Germany was everything they’ve hoped for.
He said: “This is the moment we’ve been aiming for since day one.
“When we pressed the button on the campaign, we didn’t imagine it would take off like it did.
“It’s been constant fundraising since then and there came the time when we had to sit down and focus on using that money for treatment.”
He added: “It’s going to be tough and Vanessa will be out there for up to three months in the initial stages.
“My wife, Connie, will be by her side for the duration and I’ll be there for the first month to make sure she settles.
“It will be a long haul but the bottom line is that Vanessa is now being given a much better chance of survival than she was in this country.”
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