Little Maisie Nuria Arroyo sadly died in September of a rare form of childhood cancer. She had just turned one year old.
Jennifer Lucas, Bearsden’s wife, has raised more than £ 5,000 from the sale of her book for LoveOliver, a Scottish children’s charity that supported Maisie and her family.
Children’s story Chicken Legs’ Arroyo, it has been described as a story for the whole family of bravery, perseverance and the power of friendship in challenging times.
Jennifer told the Herald, “Maisie was born prematurely in September 2019 and had overcome some major challenges before she got home.
“She was affectionately known as ‘Chicken Legs’ as a little baby because it took time to fill her little legs!”
She added, “The book was originally planned as a first birthday present for Maisie from ‘Aunt Jenny’.”
Devastatingly, when work on the birthday book began in March of last year, Maisie, then six months old, was diagnosed with a malignant rhabdoid tumor.
This rare cancer can affect the brain, spine, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Symptoms range from stomach swelling to nausea and fatigue.
Treatment usually includes intense chemotherapy, surgery, and in some cases radiation therapy. Unfortunately, the prognosis for most children is very poor.
Maise was cared for at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Jennifer said: “She bravely fought against the cruelest diseases. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of her medical team, Maisie passed away on September 28 in the arms of her loving parents. She was only a year, a week, and a day old. “
During her illness, Maisie and her family were supported by a number of charities, including LoveOliver, which was founded in 2011 by Andy and Jennifer Gill in memory of their son Oliver, who suffered from the same cancer.
Jennifer added, “Due to Maisie’s illness, which coincided with the lockdown, my friends were also quite isolated throughout the experience, which was unbearable not only for them but also for their family and close friends like me, who were pretty much each other throughout felt helpless.
“Chicken Legs’ Arroyo was my way of doing something to help, and it has proven to be a real source of strength for my friends.
“They were very involved in the sales and promotion of the book and continue to comment on how much it helps them to heal.”
The proceeds will be donated directly to LoveOliver to support their work in child cancer research and to provide hands-on support to families like Maisie’s. The initial circulation of 350 books brought in 5,000 pounds.
Jennifer said, “A second edition of the book is about to be printed and is available for sale. I really hope to sell out again and bring our total to about £ 10,000.
“I was overwhelmed by how generous people were during these difficult financial times. It was great to see the community gather behind the book and show amazing support for the charity. ”
To purchase the book, visit www.chickenlegsarroyo.co.uk