A Peterborough taxi firm has raised nearly £3,000 in support of a baby girl who is battling a rare form of eye cancer.
Drivers, office staff and even some customers at Peterborough Cars donated during the recent World Cup in Russia for Hawwa Amel Hussain who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma earlier this year, aged just nine months.
Hawwa’s grandfather is Shabir Ahmed who is manager of the company.
The final total of £2,870 has been handed over to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust in support of Hawwa who has just had her fifth round of chemotherapy in a bid to shrink the tumour in her left eye.
Hawwa’s mum Aaliya Ahmed-Hussain (30) from Dogsthorpe, said: “I first noticed Hawwa’s eye had a glassy look to it when she was three months old but we all assumed it was because her eyes were changing so quickly and it was nothing to worry about.
“But when she was eight months old she developed a squint and the glassiness that I used to only see in certain lighting was there more and more.”
Aaliya took Hawwa to their GP who referred them to Peterborough City Hospital for further tests. Within days the family were at the Royal London Hospital, one of two specialist centres for retinoblastoma in the UK, where the diagnosis was confirmed.
Hawwa, who has lost the sight in her left eye, is to be examined again to determine what further treatment she needs after she finishes her final round of chemotherapy.
Aaliya said: “The first cycle of chemo was hard – Hawwa was so poorly that we were in hospital for 19 days and she needed blood and platelet transfusions.
“We were worried that it was going to be like that every month, but fortunately the later cycles went much better.
“Despite everything she’s been through Hawwa is still smiley, bubbly and full of life. Apart from the hair and weight loss you wouldn’t know anything was wrong. She is a typical mischievous baby who is always on the move and wants to climb everywhere.”
Aaliya has also been asking for donations for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and has raised £2,120, bringing the total raised to £4,990. She added: “We’re really keen to raise awareness of retinoblastoma because most people have never heard of it.”
Sunny Singh, operations director at Peterborough Cars, said: “We do a lot of fundraising for charities throughout the year, but this cause is particularly close to us.”