FOR nearly a year, Eve Hanlon was a regular visitor to Oxford Children’s Hospital as her three-year-old daughter fought leukaemia.

After nine months of intensive treatment Martha Hanlon still needs chemotherapy but her cancer is in remission.

Now her mum is signing up to take on the Oxford Mail OX5 Run to raise funds for the hospital to say thank you.

After falling ill with flu symptoms on holiday in Dorset, Martha Hanlon was diagnosed with leukaemia in April last year.

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Mrs Hanlon admitted it was all too raw for her to take on the run earlier this year but has been inspired to sign up next year to give something back.

The-32-year-old said: “I wasn’t in the right place to be able to run but we cheered everyone on and I found it such a humbling experience. I read the Oxford Mail story about Maizie Rose and her dad last week and was inspired to take part.

“We are so grateful and thankful to the hospital. We can put our complete trust in them, we trust them with Martha’s life.

“The staff are inspirational. The level of care, compassion and empathy they give off is incredible. It’s an amazing bubble to be in, a very positive place – there’s always someone there for you.”

Martha’s treatment is due to finish in June 2015 but she will be required to return to the ward for scans every three weeks for the next five years. She said: “The ward is a safety net for us and will be for the next five years. I can’t imagine not having it there, it’s a very special place.”

Along with her husband Patrick, Mrs Hanlon visited Kamran’s Ward at the John Radcliffe at least once a week, sometimes every other day for the best part of a year.

Mrs Hanlon said: “Martha has not once said she doesn’t want to go, even if in the middle of the night she shows signs of flu and I have to wake her up. If I tell her which nurses are on she’ll go ‘Oh I love her’. She always has a lovely overall experience even if it is a grim and upsetting situation.”

The Henry Box School teacher is setting up a team for the Blenheim Palace run on March 29 and urged others to sign up.

“When Martha went for an injection, a play specialist was blowing bubbles to distract her and next time she had one she excitedly said ‘will there be bubbles?’, even the smallest things like that have to be paid for and people’s money will make a concrete change to lives.”

Oxford Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “‘It is a privilege to meet children like Martha because they are so inspiring – going through the toughest of times but always smiling. We do hope that Martha will inspire others to sign up for this very special five mile run, that makes a difference to the lives of so many local children. It only takes a few minutes to sign up.’ The event is being sponsored by Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates for the seventh year in a row.

This year’s race raised a record-breaking £114,000.

Runners can sign up at

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