A GRATEFUL father will lace up his running shoes for a seventh time at this year’s OX5 to thank the hospital that cared for his young daughter when she was treated for a rare form of cancer.

Phil Rose said he will keep doing the charity race for 'as long as [he] physically can' to help raise money for Oxford Children's Hospital.

The Rose family, from Abingdon, got the heartbreaking news two-year-old Maizie had cancer after finding a ‘huge’ stomach tumour in 2013.

Mr Rose said it took three GP visits before the youngster, who celebrated her ninth birthday last week, was diagnosed after not being able to keep her food or drink down.

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Maizie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer in the chest and stomach but as of May last year has been given the all clear.

Her dad said: "It will never go away completely and we still take Maizie for checks every six months. The hospital have been amazing throughout and that is why I am determined to do the OX5 Run for as long as I physically can."

The whole family, as well as friends under the name 'Team Maizie' have for seven years now taken part in the race to fund lifesaving equipment to support other children facing cancer.

Mr Rose said: "Maizie had her gall bladder out in 2016, as a result of her cancer treatment, and a £30,000 machine used was paid for by the Oxford Hospital's Charity.

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"She wouldn't have been able to have the operation in Oxford without it."

Joe Baker, Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are delighted that the Phil and the magnificent Team Maizie are back to join us for what looks like another fantastic fun run at Blenheim Palace.

Oxford Mail:

Maizie Roase, 9, with her family (L-R) Morgan, Phil, Emily and Arlo

“Having family members, friends and former patients join us each year shows us just how special the Oxford Mail OX5 Run is and what it means for our supporters to give back to the Children’s Hospital, for the care their child has received."

He added: “Help us again in 2020 to make a real difference to the thousands of young patients. Entry costs just £20 and we ask you to try and raise £200 – it’s easier than you think!"

All the details about this year's race

The Oxford Mail OX5 Run will, once again, take runners around a five-mile course at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, March 29.

Fundraisers can walk, jog or run the event, sponsored by Allen Associates, all in aid of supporting Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Last year’s was one of the best ever for the OX5 with 1,100 runners raising £150,000 for the children’s hospital. All money raised goes towards improving equipment and care at the Headington hospital, the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital and the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.

Mr Rose said the atmosphere was 'incredible', explaining: "Everyone is there for same reason. Even if someone has only experienced the hospital because their child broke their arm, we all know how important it is."

He said this year due to an ankle injury he would be walking rather than running the route, but added: "No matter how slow I go I'll still make sure I do it."

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