Ruby Owen


LITTLE Ruby Owen was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, but the treatment she required isn’t available in this country, writes Russell Stoddart. from the Weekly News Her only chance of survival was to have proton treatment in America, but the Proton Radiotherapy Centre in Indiana was charging £250,000 — money the family simply didn’t have.

Proton treatment is a form of radiotherapy that can target cancers which other treatments are unable to reach. The three-year-old’s parents, Martin and Rachel Owen, were prepared to sell everything they owned, including their house and car, but it would still have left them short.

Lisa Connell heard about Ruby’s plight and fell in love with the toddler from Stoke on Trent. She offered to put herself up for auction as a Rent A Date, and included Ruby in her Lisa’s Angels section. Lisa said, “Ruby had surgery that removed 95 per cent of the tumour on her brain, but five per cent was left and the only effective treatment was proton treatment. “If she didn’t have the treatment, she’d have just a 20 per cent chance of surviving the cancer.

“Through a Just Giving page, £140,000 was raised, but it was still well short of the total required. “I received emails from family friends to help raise more money. “I had been in discussions with five TV news about doing a piece on my own charitable works, so contacted them and it was arranged for Ruby and her family to go down to London. “Just before she appeared, the family got the news that the institute were prepared to knock £90,000 off the price and were now looking for a fee of £160,000. Treatment “Helping children like Ruby gives me a purpose and a reason to want to continue with the campaign and go at it even stronger.” With the money now raised, Ruby’s preparing for her treatment that will take her and her family over to America for 12 weeks.

“Ruby doesn’t understand what is going on,” said dad, Martin. “She knows she’s been very poorly, but she thinks she’s going to America on holiday. “Lisa’s done an absolutely wonderful thing. When she agreed to be involved, we hadn’t even met her, but through the goodness of her heart, she tried to do her best for Ruby.”