A COMMUNITY event to ‘celebrate the strength and courage’ of a young Sighthill woman who is fighting lung, liver and breast cancer brought neighbours and friends together this week.

Emma Dey, who has three children - Morgan, 13, Joe-Alan, five, and four-year-old Holly – said she was ‘touched and honoured’ by the tribute.

“It was beautiful, I was so surprised,” she said. “It was very emotional for all of us.”

Kirsteen Marshall, service manager at New Rhythms for Glasgow, helped to organise the event, which featured games, music and dancing, as well as a community lunch.

“It was a beautiful day for the community of Sighthill,” she said.

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“It was our pleasure and privilege to officially declare July 16 Emma Day, after our friend and neighbour as she continues to fight cancer.

“There was lots going on and it was great to see so many people come out to take part.

“Local children, working with our visual artist Consuelo Servan, created some wonderful chalk art on the pavements and streets around Emma’s home to surprise her – it was absolutely amazing.”

She added: “We are very grateful to all of the community members for helping us and to Emma for allowing us to celebrate her in such a public way.

“We look forward to many more Emma Days in the future.”

Emma started to feel unwell in October last year, and was finally diagnosed with lung cancer in December. It has now spread to her breast and liver. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

“The treatment is shrinking the tumours so that is good,” she says. “I’ll just keep going. I feel great just now.

The event was planned as a ladies’ night back in March, Emma explained.

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“Because I don’t have any hair since I started the treatment, everyone was going to take part by wearing wigs,” she added, with a smile.

“But then the virus hit, and everything was cancelled. When Kirsteen got in touch with me to say they were planning a family day instead, now that lockdown restrictions were lifting, I was absolutely delighted.

“Kirsteen is fantastic – she has been so supportive. It was great for Morgan to come along and see what this brilliant community has done for me, for all of us.”

Emma added: “It’s an amazing community to be part of, to know they all support me.”

As part of the chalk art display, which included personal messages from local families, Consuelo and the children created a huge masterpiece of Emma’s favourite singer Kyle Minogue from her first live performance after she recovered from breast cancer.

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“I love Kylie and the picture is fantastic,” said Emma. “They also added one of my favourite Dolly Parton quotes around it – ‘if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.’”

Kirsteen added: “It was a wonderful day – a beautiful story of a community’s love for a young woman who has shown real bravery during horrendous times.”