IT HAS been almost a year now since young Ava Nelson and her family had their lives turned upside down.

Aged just 10 at the time, the Kilwinning schoolgirl had been unwell for nearly a month, with her illness dismissed as viral.

But mum Jackie Dunlop's insistence that doctors investigated further led to them getting to the root of the issue - and it was a heartbreaking diagnosis.

After having an MRI scan, the family's worst fears for Ava were confirmed. 

Specialists at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock diagnosed Ava with a highly aggressive brain tumour called glioma.

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

However, every day since then, the "wee warrior" has continued to battle the disease and keep her spirits high.

And her most recent scans have shown just how strong Ava has been - with her mother Jackie sharing the news earlier this week.

She said: "Well I had a very important phone call tonight from the doctors in Glasgow.

"Two weeks ago our wee warrior had her big scan… tell you, it’s been the longest wait of our lives for results!

"Well I can’t stop crying - happy tears!

"There is no major changes from last scan, the tumour has got a bit smaller since last scan, the cancer has not spread.

"The doctors are amazed with this wee warrior 'cause they have never known a child to go through as much as Ava and still continue on with life and let nothing get in her way.

"We know this eventually won’t be the case but right now our wee champ is trying her hardest to kick cancer's a***."

The news comes almost exactly a year on from Ava's initial diagnosis - and she has been through a lot ever since.

Though helping her through it all have been the community, who have got right behind Ava in her battle.

Back in September, we shared a story of how Ava's family launched a fundraiser, which which they hoped would raise enough cash for everyone to go on a dream trip to Blackpool.

Upon seeing this story in the paper, Gro Coffee staff and business owner Gordon Rennie amazingly donated the full target amount of £2,500 to the justgiving page.

While the annual Alfie Curran memorial match was held in Stevenston that same month which raised even more money to support Ava's dream trip.

Updating us on the trip, mum Jackie commented: "The trip was amazing and emotional, she was devastated cause she wasn't allowed on the rollercoasters.

"But she’s had the go ahead from her consultant and she’s allowed so we want to take her back down while she’s good.

She added: "We are going to try and roll out the carpet and get her back down."