Local Freemasons Raise Over £10,000 for Two Year-Old Ruby Young
Local Freemasons and representatives of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, presented a cheque for £10,330 to Ruby Young and her mother in Rainham on Thursday 12thMarch 2015. Shortly after her second birthday last year, Ruby’s health took a turn for the worse and she was found to be suffering from Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of child cancer. Ruby is being looked after by the NHS but, in her present condition – described as ‘refractory’ – the treatment options for her here are quite limited. Her parents Vikki and Rob of Monmouth Close in Rainham, Kent, set out to raise £500,000 for further treatment options which are available in the United States. With the help of Anita Marinelli, a family friend who is organising much of the fund-raising, an appeal was launched in October 2014. It got off to a good start, was well supported and by Christmas, they reached their first objective of £100,000. They then set out to achieve £200,000 by Easter 2015. Local Freemasons meeting in lodges in Gillingham and Wigmore launched a campaign to support this appeal which, along the way, drew interest from Freemasons elsewhere in Medway, Faversham, Canterbury and beyond. On Thursday 12thMarch, they handed Ruby and her mother a total of £10,330: of which £5,330 was raised by the local Freemasons and £5,000 from the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, on behalf of Freemasons throughout the Masonic Province of East Kent. Click here for a list of those that took part. Receiving the cheque, Vikki thanked the Freemasons and said: “This is the largest single donation so far and it has taken us through the £200,000 milestone we hoped to reach by Easter”. Other local lodges and chapters are known to be still fundraising for Ruby and their donations will be made directly to the appeal. Brother Lindsay Currie, from the Hundred of Hoo Lodge No 8986, has put his late brother’s 50 year-old invitation to Sir Winston’s Churchill’s State Funeral up for sale on a world-wide auction site. If the reserve price is exceeded, then all proceeds from the sale will go directly to the appeal in memory of David James Currie. Speaking on behalf of the Freemasons in Medway, Worshipful Brother Andrew Notley said: “The local Freemasons were touched by this tragic case and responded generously to Ruby’s appeal. We wish the family well as they continue their fundraising and we all hope and pray that Ruby will receive the best possible treatment and overcome this terrible illness”.
Ruby was dressed up very smartly for the presentation and, showing a healthy appetite, she tucked in to the assortment of cakes and cookies that were provided for the occasion by Brother Kevin Neale of the Durobrivae Lodge No 6956, who has kindly given over some of his office space for Anita and the fundraising effort. Ruby is currently on what is called ‘The Beacon Trial‘ which is for relapsed and refractory Neuroblastoma. She has a tumour in her abdomen running around her kidneys and through an artery. The term ‘refractory’ means that the Neuroblastoma is still in Ruby’s bone marrow which is why she has been unable to have surgery so far. The treatment for Ruby now is ‘a bit off the beaten track’. She is currently receiving chemotherapy at home together with the drug Avastin, used in combination with the chemotherapy, as part of this trial, plus whatever treatment she needs in hospital. Oncologists in the USA have recommended that Ruby has another two rounds of this and then to push for surgery, which will more than likely take place abroad. It is likely therefore that more than £500,000 will be needed to cover the total costs. A moving video produced by Worshipful Brother David Neale, also of Durobrivae Lodge No 6956, featuring Ruby’s four year-old brother Freddy appealing for “What can you do for Ruby Roo”, has attracted over 28,000 visits and can be viewed at the bottom of the page.
Everyone involved with the family is grateful to the local media, friends, celebrities and all those that have helped them to reach £200,000 and hope that the support will continue as they press on to raise the total needed. Other lodges, chapters or individuals wishing to add their support to the appeal can send their cheques, made payable to “NCCA-UK Ruby Youngs Journey”, to Anita Marinelli c/o 3 The Courtyard, Holding Street, Rainham, Kent. ME8 7HL.