Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 19:22 UK

Spiteri celebrates cancer charity

Sharleen Spiteri
Sharleen Spiteri with Bethanie Thomson, aged 3, who has cancer

Scots singer Sharleen Spiteri has met youngsters undergoing cancer treatment as a leading Edinburgh charity celebrated a special anniversary.

The performer visited a home run by Clic Sargent for parents who have to travel to Edinburgh while their child undergoes specialist treatment.

The Clic Villa in the city's Hatton Place is celebrating its 10th year.

Spiteri, who is a patron of the charity, described it as "a real lifeline" for families hit by cancer.

The former Texas singer, whose debut solo album is released in July, said: "I cannot imagine how devastating it must be to be told your child has cancer, but at least you know with Clic Sargent you will be supported every step of the way, from diagnosis through to treatment and beyond.

"This charity is a real lifeline."

Treatment centres

Clic Sargent set up the home in Edinburgh and another in Glasgow for families who have to travel long distances so their child can get the right treatment.

Parents often find themselves having to spend months at a time in hospital, the charity said.

The free, self-catering accommodation is close to treatment centres and is also open to grandparents, siblings and friends.

Jane Noble, from Galashiels, whose 12-year-old son Greg was treated in Edinburgh, said: "Clic Villa became a godsend to me and my family.

"We have to travel over an hour each way to the hospital and I couldn't bear being too far away from Greg.

"Clic Villa gives us a place to come home to after a day spent by a hospital bedside and a place to feel a family once more."

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