Tot’s cancer battle inspires fundraisers
Friends and well-wishers have rallied to support a Buckinghamshire family whose two year-old daughter is bravely battling cancer – and raised a four-figure sum for a facility that helped them.
Elsie Pyner, 2, from Newport Pagnell near Milton Keynes was diagnosed in March this year with a brain tumour and has since been under the care of doctors and nurses at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
Her parents, Kate and Lee Pyner have been able to stay near their daughter at Ronald McDonald House Oxford – a free ‘home away from home’ where families who have children being treated in hospital can stay free of charge and for as long as they need.
Last Saturday (13 June 2015) a 20-strong team of relatives and friends of the family completed a five kilometre colour obstacle challenge near Buckinghamshire’s picturesque Willen Lake to raise more than £6,000 for the Ronald McDonald House.
The formidable group of fundraisers, dubbed ‘Team Elsie’, completed a course in which participants overcame a series of inflatable obstacles while being covered with coloured paint powder – thrown by onlookers – at various points along the way.
Among the supporters cheering on Team Elsie was family friend Reverend Jenny Mills, Minister of Newport Pagnell United Reformed Church. She says of the community’s response to the Pyner family’s plight: “It’s a great example of a community coming together in support of a local family.
“A lot of parents have been touched by the Pyner family’s story as you never think something like this will happen to you. We’re tremendously proud that more than £6,000 has been raised to help support families in a similar situation needing somewhere to stay.”
Elsie’s aunt, Lindsey McCluskie, says: “Our whole family is so grateful to Ronald McDonald House Oxford for the support it offered to Lee and Kate when Elsie was diagnosed. Lee and Kate have a ‘home away from home’ and even Elsie’s big sister Lily can stay at weekends and they can have some quality time as a family.”
“It’s such an important facility for families who, like Lee and Kate, need to travel so that their child can be treated.”
A fundraising page for ‘Team Elsie’ has been set up and is accepting donations: https://www.justgiving.com/V-Winnett
To find out more about Ronald McDonald House Oxford visit www.rmhc.org.uk/oxford
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Notes to Editors
1. Photography credit: Caroline Sinclair
2. Ronald McDonald House Oxford is run by Ronald McDonald House Charities - an independent charity that provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK. It enables seriously ill children to have their families close by when they are undergoing treatment and allows them to maintain a degree of normal family life.
3. There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK and in 2014 they helped support over 6,000 families with children in hospital.
4. Ronald McDonald House Charities relies on the generosity of supporters and fundraisers, including McDonald’s customers, without whom it would be unable to continue its work.
5. The Charity was founded in 1989 and has been keeping families together for more than 25 years.