They looked pretty in pink, but the sparkle in little Nicole McBride's eyes said it all.
The brave schoolgirl lit up the room yesterday as she celebrated her 10th birthday in style.
With a beaming smile and dressed head-to-toe in pink, dozens of her family and friends – along with total strangers who had come to the aid of the youngster – clapped and sang 'Happy Birthday' during her dream princess party at Belfast's Home Restaurant.
Since the Belfast Telegraph published the heartbreaking story about Nicole's battle with Ataxia Telangiectasia, the McBride family has received an outpouring of generosity from the public.
After spending the afternoon getting her hair and make-up done, mum Shona and dad Michael said they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity.
"She absolutely loves it. She couldn't wait to get the costume, she's so excited," said Shona.
"Nicole is absolutely over the moon. She doesn't know why all these people she doesn't know are doing all this for her. It's fantastic."
Dad Michael said the day had "broken his heart".
"I saw the sparkle in her eyes today. It's brilliant," he said.
Nicole summed up the whole day with one simple word: "Superb."
Joan Laughlin and niece Pamela Watt were among those that helped make Nicole's dream birthday celebrations possible – presenting the schoolgirl with her very own lifelike baby doll.
"I read the story in the Belfast Telegraph – the tears were tripping me. The whole family are just so brave," said Joan.
Home Restaurant manager Stephen Haller said it was a "great opportunity to help out a great cause".
Helping to provide a raft of pink and princess related items for the birthday bash, Karen Sheals Hoy of American Holidays said Nicole's story had "touched everybody".
"We wanted to be involved in this and to help her dreams come true," she said.
But after the fun and frivolities, Nicole can now look forward to her very own pink princess inspired bedroom, thanks to Mervyn Wilson of Starplan.