Reuben's Fight fundraiser to go ahead while three-year-old undergoes stem cell treatment

James Harrison

Reuben Virdee, from Furze Platt, had been due to see supporters and well-wishers at a family fun day in aid of the Reuben’s Fight campaign, set up to pay for his treatment.

But instead of enjoying bouncy castles, pony rides and mini trains at Lillibrooke Manor, in Ockwells Road, Cox Green, on Sunday, August 6, the tot will be undergoing special stem cell treatment at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

After about six rounds of chemotherapy, operations and other medical procedures, the youngster’s family are feeling cautiously confident about his prospects.

“Jess and Kulwant [Reuben’s parents] are positive,” said family friend and campaign spokesman Natasha Rampton.

“He is doing so well.

“There’s been obviously low moments for them, watching your child go through this and they’ve found it hard because they know it makes him worse [in the short term] even if it makes him better in the long term.

“There have been very low days but they remain positive because he has reacted so well to the treatment.”

Reuben was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a condition which affects fewer than 100 children in the UK, in December.

In January the Reuben’s Fight campaign was set up to raise £250,000 for treatment in America once Reuben is in remission. So far it has collected more than £170,000.

Sunderland youngster Bradley Lowery recently died after battling the disease after attracting national attention with his appearances at top-level football matches.

Ms Rampton said Reuben’s family had been affected by this, adding: “It was tough [when Bradley died]. We had been in touch with Bradley’s campaign manager, mainly to get advice, and following his story. It was just so close to him [Reuben].

“Although we didn’t know him, it was still a hit when we heard the news and it’s so sad to see that Reuben is going through the same thing.”

Visit for more about the fund-raising campaign.


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