A BATTLING Kilwinning youngster will now get to go on a trip to her "favourite place" thanks to a kind-hearted local business.

Ava Nelson is only 10 years old, and in June of this year was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour, called a glioma, by specialists at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

A glioma is a tumor that forms when glial cells grow out of control. Normally, these cells support nerves and help your central nervous system work.

The cancer has been described as "inoperable and incurable", and life has been hectic for Ava and her family since the heartbreaking diagnosis.

We recently shared the family's fundraiser, which was hoping to raise enough cash for Ava and her family to go on a dream trip to Blackpool and create amazing memories.

This fundraiser was picked up by GRO Coffee owner Gordon Rennie, who phoned us to see if they could help.

GRO Coffee have premises in both Irvine and Ayr, meaning the story was very close to home for them.

After being put in touch with Ava's mum Jackie Dunlop, Gordon amazingly donated the full target amount of £2,500 to the justgiving page.

Upon hearing the news, Jackie was overcome with emotions.

She said: "Myself, Ava and the rest of family want to say a big heartfelt thank you to Gordon and the team at GRO for his very generous donation and helping us smash well over the target. 

"We can’t really put into words how much it means to us all. Finally we can get the plan in action and get our family to Blackpool and make some magical memories for Ava.

"I was extremely shocked when i saw the donation and still can’t believe it. Thanks again Gordon and team, really can’t thank you enough."

Though Gordon said the pleasure was with he and his team, who were more than happy to help.

He commented: "Upon reading the article on the front page of the Irvine Times this week about the fundraising efforts of everyone regarding helping Ava and her family get a special holiday, myself and the team at Gro were all moved to help.

"I decided to match the full target requested by the fundraising team of £2500 and make sure Ava gets her trip away as soon as possible!  

"It is on behalf of our team and customers at GRO that we wish Ava and her family happy travels and it is our pleasure to donate, and we wish everyone else involved in the continued fundraising efforts much success over the coming weeks."

Fundraising efforts for Ava are still open, and the Just Giving page can be found here.

The next event organised to raise cash for the battling Pennyburn Primary School pupil has been put together by the group behind an annual fundraising football match.

The Alfie Curran Memorial Match was first played in 2019, to raise money in memory of  Alfie Curran, who died in 2019 after living with cerebral palsy.

The group held another match in 2021 which raised over £2,500 to help buy Calum McBlane a state of the art wheelchair.

As with last year, the 2022 match will be played between two Saltcoats Sunday League football teams - Crown Inn AFC and Bobby's Bar AFC - the latter team managed by Ava's mum's partner.

The match will take place at Ardeer Thistle's stadium on September 17, kicking off at 4pm.

Entry will be £3 for adults and free for children, while there will also be plenty of food, drink, stalls and entertainment on offer on the day.

For more information about the event, visit here.