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Five-year-old Reuben doing 'amazingly' after year of experimental cancer treatment

A young boy fighting a rare form of cancer is doing ‘amazingly’ after a year of receiving experimental therapy.

Five-year-old Reuben Virdee, who now attends Burchetts Green School, has been making trips to New York since last July to receive treatment for neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system.

Reuben is getting the treatment after £250,000 was raised by his family and supporters, and he is set to receive the last round of treatment next month.

Before his treatment, Reuben stayed at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and now his mum Jess is collecting books to give to the children there to say thanks for the way they looked after her son.

She said: “Hospitals are really under-resourced and providing things like new books is probably one of the lowest priorities.

“External support from people can really help out the hospital.

“They have amazing play specialists. They go above and beyond to make your time there a little easier and just pass the hours because it goes incredibly slowly.”

According to Jess, children in Reuben’s ward were not allowed to share things like books or paintbrushes due to contamination concerns, which meant the children struggled to find things to do in their downtime.

She collected books for the hospital in February but hopes the public can help donate more ahead of the summer, one of the toughest times of the year for children stuck in hospital.

She said: “It’s just lovely for us to take lots of books to the playroom.

“We have been able to come out of the other side a little bit and it’s amazing to know people are thinking about you and rooting for you.

“It was feeling that people are thinking of you that helped as a parent.”

She went on to say she found it hard to believe that almost a year has passed since Reuben’s treatment began.

Since last July, Reuben has started school and is starting to enjoy a ‘normal’ life.

Jess said: “He’s doing amazingly. At school he’s enjoying doing all the normal things.

“It’s amazing that we are a year on. Everyone has just been brilliant.”

To find out more about donating books visit


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