On Saturday 31st July 2021, Ruairí Maher will climb Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England, in memory of his friend Elara Foxley who sadly passed away in March this year, aged just three years old.
Inspired by Elara, her courage, strength and determination, Ruairí wants to raise money for Neuroblastoma UK, a national children’s cancer charity adding, ‘to help them fight the monster that took my friend away.’ In doing so, he will become the joint youngest person in Britain to climb the mountain. Ruairí will be walking with his dad Danny (42), and his mum Amy (34) and little brother Oscar (1) will be waving them off at the bottom of the mountain.
The money raised by Ruairí’s incredible efforts will help fund vital research into neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer. Thanks to Ruairí’s kind gesture, scientists funded by Neuroblastoma UK can progress their vital research to develop new, more effective and kinder treatments for children with neuroblastoma.
Around two children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma every week in the UK. Elara Foxley, also from Oxfordshire, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in December 2019. Despite responding well to intensive treatment, including surgery, high-dose chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, Elara’s cancer returned in February 2021. Devastatingly, after being told there was nothing more that doctors could do, Elara died peacefully in her mother’s arms on 7th March 2021, aged three years old.
Dad Danny said:
“We are all devastated by Elara’s death, and nobody more so than her mum Nicky. She’s an amazing woman, and Ruairí wants to do this for ‘Auntie Nicky’ as much as he does for Elara and Neuroblastoma UK. We are keen to keep Elara fresh in Ruairí’s memory, and we always talk about her. Every night Ruairí says goodnight to the brightest star in the sky and falls asleep with a little letter ‘R’ that Elara and Nicky bought him as a gift last year. I’m not sure he fully understands yet, but he knows he wants to climb a mountain for his little star in the sky to raise money for ‘doctors’ to help poorly children.”
Katherine Mobey, Fundraising Manager at Neuroblastoma UK, said:
“We are so grateful to Ruairí, his family and of course Nicky for their support in such difficult times. Nicky had shared their story in December last year to support our fundraising and help other families. To hear that Elara had relapsed after doing so well was devastating, and we were all heartbroken when Elara passed away. And it’s a story we hear far too often.
“Tragically, like Elara, around half of children with high-risk neuroblastoma will not respond completely to treatment or will relapse. If they do relapse, their chances of long-term survival are less than 10%. We must do more to give these children more treatment options and save more young lives. As a charity, we receive no government funding, and amazing fundraising challenges like Ruairí’s are crucial in helping us fund much-needed research into this rare and aggressive cancer.”
To support Ruairí and Neuroblastoma UK, please visit his fundraising page at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RuairiBum.
To organise your own fundraising event and support Neuroblastoma UK, please visit: neuroblastoma.org.uk/community-fundraising and download your fundraising guide.