A fundraiser has been set up to raise £1,275 to pay for the travel insurance of a Peterborough girl with cancer – who hopes to go on a family holiday this summer.
Ruby McCulloch, 12, was diagnosed with an optic nerve glioma – a slow-growing brain tumor in the nerve connecting the eye to the brain – on her 11th birthday in May 2020.
She went through 12 weeks of chemotherapy after receiving the diagnosis.
Although the chemotherapy controlled the spread of the tumour – it still remains in her body.
Peterborough theater hosting charity screening of Cliff Richard film Summer Holi…
Hopes for family holiday
Ruby now hopes to go on a two-week family holiday to Tenerife but the cheapest travel insurance for her which her family has been quoted as £1,275.
“The insurance is expensive because she still has the tumour – and the travel insurance companies see it as such a massive risk,” Ruby’s mum, Hayley McCulloch, said.
“I couldn’t believe the price of it. The insurance, just for Ruby alone, is £1,275. Some companies wouldn’t even cover her and said cover couldn’t be provided.
“We’ve had to go to specialist companies. All of the quotes I’ve been given have ranged from £1,200-£1,600. You can look at all the different options for answers, but you have to be so exact – otherwise you risk the policy being voided.”
Ruby taught to cross road again after losing vision
Before receiving her diagnosis, Ruby had complained of losing vision in her left eye on a family walk during lockdown.
She was sent to hospital within an hour of the family calling 111. She remains almost fully blind in that eye after chemotherapy.
“Once she was given the diagnosis, and she started chemotherapy, she was having chemo once a week,” Hayley said.
“She was tired, unable to eat and her hair started thinning out.
“We couldn’t do normal family days out because she was so tired. She was clumsy because she was adjusting to the fact she couldn’t see properly. I even had to teach her how to cross the road again because she had no peripheral vision on her left side – which was a worry for me.
“During lockdown it was hard. I had to do it on my own because I wasn’t allowed to have anyone come to the hospital with me.”
‘Ruby deserves a break’
A GoFundMe donations page was set up earlier this week to raise money to help Hayley to take Ruby on holiday by paying for her travel insurance.
“I wanted to help her as Ruby used to love traveling, and I felt she really deserved to have a break from normal life,” said Pippa Brand, who has worked with Hayley for the last five years, and created the GoFundMe page.
“During lockdown, Hayley told us about Ruby’s diagnosis and to watch her continue to hold down her job – being a single mum of two – and still be so positive – it was so moving to watch.”
You help Ruby and her family to go on holiday this year by donating to the GoFundMe page.