A woman has this week issued a heartfelt plea for help as her fiancé’s little sister battles a deadly illness that could see her spend the rest of her life in hospital.

Dana Carroll has spoken of her family’s heartache after three-year-old Bankie Marley Barclay was recently diagnosed with Leukaemia.

The toddler was born with Down’s Syndrome in 2014, and just weeks after her birth the tot had to undergo open heart surgery.

Then the family was devastated to learn the brave youngster was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – just 24 hours after her third birthday.

Now a fundraising campaign has been organised, along with a JustGiving page set up, in order to help Marley’s family pay for the associated costs of visiting their little princess in hospital.

Dana, from Dumbarton, said: “On Marley’s third birthday, which was on May 30, she was admitted into hospital for a series of tests and was kept in overnight.

“But on May 31 Marley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and she will now spend most of her life in hospital.

“This is a hugely devastating ordeal our family has had to go through.”

Dana, 20, hopes a fundraising night organised with her sister-in-law, on Friday, July 28 from 7.30pm in Hardgate House Function Suite, along with the JustGiving page, can help ease the burden on Marley’s parents, who live in Drumry.

She said: “Any money raised will be split and go to Marley’s mum and dad to help with travelling to and from the hospital, to give Marley home comforts in her room and anything else they need help with.

“It will also go to the cancer unit in the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital, in Glasgow.

“I want to do everything in my power to help the family, they have been through so much.

“I’ve been in the family for three years and I’ve known Marley since she was seven months. I just feel I had to do something.

“It’’s been a difficult time for the family, definitely.

“Marley might need to spend between one and five years in hospital. It all depends on her health.

“It’s been such a shock to her parents but they are taking it one day at a time.”

Also supporting Marley’s fight for survival are her other brothers Cole, aged seven and 15-year-old Alan.

Marley’s eldest big brother Darrel Barclay said: “I’ve set up this fund me page to reach out to anyone who can help. I’m looking to raise money to help my little sister Marley.

“The fight begins now and I’m trying to raise money no matter how little to help my mum travel from and to the hospital on a daily basis and to give Marley the best time in hospital possible.

“Marley is looking to spend six months to one year in Yorkhill but hopefully Marley can beat cancer.”

The Just Giving page has so far reached £455, which is around 91 per cent of its £500 target.

Tickets for the fundraising night, which will involve fun games, quizzes and challenges costs £5 per adult and £1 per kid (under 5s are free).

To buy a ticket go to the Marleys Fight Against Leukaemia Facebook page.

To find out more go to www.facebook.com/Marleysfight/posts/316084252154704.