LITTLE Mikayla is only six but she has already endured brain cancer, blindness and chemo-therapy.
She receives regular care from the staff at Oxford Children’s Hospital, which is set to receive a huge boost from the next OX5 charity run.
The 2013 run, which is organised by the Oxford Mail, was officially launched yesterday.
It is the 11th annual fundraising event, and is due to take place on March 10, at Blenheim Palace.
Mikayla is one of the many children who benefit from funds raised by the run, which this year netted £60,000.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer at four when her eyesight became poor and she began to put on weight.
Her mum Natasha Beames, 32, from Childrey near Wantage, was at the Kamran Ward in the hospital yesterday while her daughter was having blood tests.
She said: “Mikayla is going through chemo here at the moment.
“The chemo has meant she is now registered blind so we are always in and out of the hospital. “We have been visiting for the last two years.
“I’d love to do the run as a thank-you for all the hard work of the staff.
“The staff are fantastic, they are family. Mikayla enjoys coming here. She loves the school she goes to when she comes in, and the music and play sessions.”
Almost 1,000 people took part in the five-mile Oxford Mail OX5 Run in March.
Money raised is spent on new equipment for treating Oxfordshire’s sick children.
Hospital play specialist Lucy Jones said: “It is a really rewarding job, and important to make the environment nice for the kids.
“During their treatment in the hospital I help prepare them for procedures and help them cope with their treatment in hospital, distracting them from pain.”
The money is helping to pay for a new eye scanner for babies and children, a Pneumoscan machine to measure lung function in children more easily and a a portable ventilator to transport sick children between intensive care, theatres and the X-ray department.
A more comfortable waiting area for parents whose children are being treated in the high dependency unit, is also being created.
It costs £10 to enter the run and runners are encouraged to raise £100 or more in sponsorship. Beginners are very welcome, while there are a number of cups available for the more competitive to vie for.
Emma Turner, 41, from Abingdon, said her four-year-old son Toby was sent to the hospital when he became poorly with a bad cough at the weekend.
She said: “We don’t know exactly what it is yet but it is hopefully nothing too serious.
“He has asthma so we are hoping it is that.
“It is good to have such great care and facilities here even if it isn’t home.”