A MOTHER has praised the public for backing her dream to top the Christmas charts for her cancer-stricken daughter.
'Tiny Dancer – A Song For Lily-Mae' was pipped in the race for the coveted No1 spot by 'X-Factor' winner James Arthur.
But Judith Sibley took some consolation from the fact that the charity single topped the festive iTunes chart.
'Tiny Dancer' was recorded to raise money for four-year-old Lily-Mae Morrison, who suffers from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system.
Less than 4,000 sales separated Arthur's 'Impossible' and the re-worked Elton John 1972 classic, which was recorded by 300 musicians including Paddy Casey, John Spillane, Declan O'Rourke and Mundy.
Despite the massive publicity machine behind Arthur, it was a tight race in the charts as 'Impossible' sold 25,377 compared with 'Tiny Dancer' at 21,471.
Ms Sibley, from Claregalway, Co Galway, said the money raised would help transform Lily-Mae's life.
She said: "We came very close to topping the charts. It's been amazing and I'm so grateful to everybody who got behind us.
"But we're top of the iTunes charts, so I've told Lily-Mae she's the Christmas No1 and she's delighted."
Ballet dancer Ms Sibley said Christmas will be extra special, particularly as Lily-Mae has made a good recovery at home since leaving hospital earlier this month.
Lily-Mae is not due back in hospital until January 6, meaning the family, including her father, Leighton Morrison, and her two-year-old brother, Evan, can look forward to plenty of quality time at home.
Ms Sibley said she would turn her attention next year to raising €750,000 for vital medical treatment that Lily-Mae is likely to need abroad.