THE community has rallied together to raise money for a hospital ward which is supporting two local toddlers who have both been diagnosed with cancer.

A fundraiser has been set up to raise money for the Kamran's Ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford which supports children from 0-18 years old who have cancer.

Cheryl Liversuch who runs Gym and Tonic with her business partner decided to set up the fundraiser after two of the mums who attended her mother and baby bootcamps discovered their daughters have cancer.

Debbi White who lives in Bradfield on the edge of Reading is the mother of 20 month old Ruby who has been diagnosed with a "really really rare brain cancer" called ATRT.

The family found out on New Years Eve following an MRI scan at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH).

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Ruby had brain surgery on January 4 to remove "a large portion" of the cancer and is also having chemotherapy at John Radcliffe Hospital.

Speaking about the diagnosis Debbi she said she felt "shock and grief and then you’re almost mourning the life you had previously".

She said she is "just trying to stay positive" and is staying off of the internet because "the stats aren’t good".

Ruby receiving her first round of chemotherapy

Ruby receiving her first round of chemotherapy

Gina Kimmins is the mother of Sophia-Rose who is 15 months old and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia in January.

She explained Sophia-Rose has been having treatment at John Radcliffe Hospital too and the pair have been staying in the hospital for weeks.

Gina said because of Covid "there’s people like us that are having to deal with a lot of this on our own".

She added: "To be told your child has got cancer sitting on a bed on your own because her dad isn’t allowed in is absolutely awful."

She explained her daughter is "too young to understand" what is going on.

She said: "She gets really really scared and cries a lot of the time."



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In order to support the young girls and their families, Cheryl decided to set up a fundraiser to raise money for the children's cancer ward.

Gym and Tonic, which, prior to Covid, ran classes in Tilehurst and Purley, is encouraging people to walk or run a collective 2021 miles by the end of March.

Cheryl said the girls' stories have "touched all of our hearts, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing".

So far, at the time of writing, £2,793 has been raised.

Speaking about Kamran's ward, Gina said: "The ward itself is just amazing."

She explained "all the nurses and doctors are so lovely" and the "parents look after each other".

Debbi added: "You’re really looked after and they are just a lovely bunch."

Click here to donate.