A group of parents hope to keep the memory alive for a nine-year-old girl who died of cancer.

After the tragic death of Jessica Macqueen, who was known as a perfectly healthy schoolgirl at Holy Rood Catholic Primary School, 23 parents of children at the school are planning a 10k run to raise money to find a cure for the rare cancer which Jessica faced.

Jessica died on October 18 aged nine, just four months after the devastating diagnosis of the rare cancer.

On May 20, the family tested a lump on Jessica’s foot and were told that Jessica had haemangioma, a type of non-cancerous tumour in children. It wasn’t until at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) that Jessica was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma – a highly aggressive cancer of soft tissue or bone.

Watford Observer:

Charlene Taylor, a mother of a boy in Jessica’s year group at the school, was shocked when she became aware there was not enough funding for this type of cancer, and felt strongly about supporting Alice’s Arc, a charity dedicated to funding research to find a cure and less harsh treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma.

“I wasn’t aware of it – it’s not until you reach these things that you realise there’s a lack of funding. There should be more money for there to be more of a chance to live.”

Ms Taylor alongside a small group of mothers, began discussing the idea of finding ways to raise money for the charity, and the team proposed a 10k run through Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Woods.

From what started as a small group of mothers deciding to run, a total of 23 parents became interested in raising money for the charity.

In reference to Simon and Laura, Jessica’s parents, Ms Taylor said: “They’ve been fantastic, their strength is incredible, and no parent should have to go through what they’ve been through.

“But it is a day-by-day process and they do have great support from all of the parents.

“We’re doing this in memory of Jessica, she was a wonderful girl who was incredibly polite, and everyone will miss her terribly.”

The run will be taking place on Sunday (November 24) at Cassiobury Park where the parents will be wearing bright yellow branded Alice’s Arc shirts for the cause. Ms Taylor is adamant there will be many children who knew Jessica there sharing their support.

Over £7,600 has been raised so far from the upcoming run, which doesn’t include the £17,192 raised from various donations from the Macqueen’s friends and family.

To donate money for the run, visit the JustGiving page here.