A County Durham mum is raising money for a children’s cancer ward following her daughter’s Stage 4 diagnosis.

Rebecca Gargett, 34, from Bishop Auckland, has spoken of how her family’s world was turned upside-down after her daughter, Willow, 5, was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Wilms’ tumour.

Ms Gargett said Willow had complained of tummy pain on August 12 and her daughter’s abdomen had felt “rock solid” large lump when she checked her.

After visiting a local urgent care centre where they were told it could be an ear infection or appendicitis, and a trip to A&E, her daughter was taken Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.

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Ms Gargett was given Willow’s diagnosis following a CT scan which identified a 12.8cm mass on her right kidney, with the cancer also spreading to her lungs.

Ms Gargett said: “The staff up there are absolutely amazing, the nurses are fantastic, it’s the best of the best.

“As a family, we are putting our daughter’s life in their hands. We just, as a family, want to give them a little something back.

“The bottom of your world falls out, Willow has literally just turned five at the end of July.

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“In the back of my mind I think I knew what we were facing, but to actually hear those words, ‘we’re really sorry, but Willow has cancer,’ it’s nothing any family wants to hear.

“Willow’s actually doing quite good at the moment, even after these last few chemos which have been quite a harsh cocktail.

“Everything is day to day, you’re not going to have two days the same. You take each day as it comes. You’re living for these little milestones.”

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She added her daughter had been gradually losing weight since the start of the year.

Willow had surgery to insert a portacath on August 16 and underwent her first chemotherapy treatment two hours later.

Ms Gargett added her daughter has been given an initial six courses of chemotherapy, with the last taking place on September 20.

Willow underwent a CT and MRI scan this week, and Ms Gargett said doctors are looking to carry out a nephrectomy to remove the kidney and cancerous mass.

Ms Gargett added the hope is the scan will show the tumour in her kidney and masses in her lungs are responding to the treatment.

She also said this could be followed by six to seven more months of chemotherapy, and possibly radiotherapy, to target the lung masses and ensure any remaining cancer cells are removed.

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She said Willow’s condition has taken a toll on her family, but her treatment is showing positive signs as there is a belief the tumour is becoming smaller.

Speaking on the fundraiser, Ms Gargett said while her family do not need the money, they wanted to give something back to the RVI for their excellent treatment of Willow.

“We just can’t thank them enough, if it hadn’t been for them, we don’t know how much worse this could have got,” she added.

“If it means that there’s 10 kids on the ward at Christmas, and 10 of those kids get a Christmas present, that to us is what it’s all about.

“We want to make life that little bit easier, more comfortable, and happier for the families up there.”

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They are hoping the money can be used for children’s toys, craft sets, and anything the hospital may need to help make a family more comfortable.

A Wilms' tumour is a type of kidney cancer which most commonly affects young children.

The fundraiser is for the paediatric oncology wards 4 and 14, and has raised £3,245 of its £3500 target at the time of writing.

You can find the fundraiser here.