Youngsters raise £2,000 for hospital that treats Cotmanhay tot battling brain cancer
THE mum of a two-year-old girl fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer has thanked hundreds of schoolchildren for raising £2,000 for the hospital caring for her.
Pupils at Heanor Gate Science College and its feeder schools took part in a 24-hour fitness marathon in aid of Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre, where 26-month-old Abbey Fenton is being treated.
The youngsters agreed to take part after hearing about Abbey's brave fight against the disease.
About 800 pupils took part in boxing-related exercises – known as Ozbox – at Heanor Gate Science College, while youngsters at Howitt Primary School and Mundy Junior School did likewise.
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The event involved relays of between 60 and 80 pupils taking part at any one time.
Seventy-five brave teens also carried on throughout the night to make sure the chain went unbroken right the way through from 9.30am on Friday to 9.30am on Saturday.
Parents and teachers were also among the 1,500 people who took part.
All the money raised will go to the Saving Abbey Fund, which was set up to buy equipment and toys for the paediatric ward where she undergoes chemotherapy every two weeks.
Mum Julie Stayner, 32, of Duke's Place, Cotmanhay, was full of praise for those who took part.
She said: "The amount of people who took part was amazing. I can't thank them enough.
"The money raised will make a big difference to the ward. Abbey was there for three months after being diagnosed last September and is there every other week now to continue her chemo.
"The doctors and nurses there are absolutely fantastic but the ward needs more of the little things to keep the children there entertained – things like PlayStations.
"It also needs a specialised bathtub for disabled children and pictures to brighten up the place."
Abbey is suffering from a rare form of brain cancer called choroid plexus carcinoma.
Julie said: "She has one large tumour and one small tumour and the folds in her brain are also cancerous. It's so rare, she's actually case 37 in the world. After it was diagnosed, she lost everything – her movement, her sight.
"The doctors said there was only a slim chance of the chemo working.
"Thankfully, it has had a positive effect. Her sight is back and she started crawling around four weeks ago.
"Her spine, however, is too weak for her to walk. The survival rate for this form of cancer is very small but she's amazing the doctors with how well she's doing."
To donate to the cause, search for the Saving Abbey Fund on Facebook.