THE mother of a nine-year-old York girl who was blinded by a rare brain tumour is preparing to run in the London marathon to help other sufferers.

Julia Holding wants to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity’s HeadSmart campaign, which aims to reduce the diagnosis time for children with brain tumours to under five weeks.

She said her daughter Ruby’s malignant tumour was only diagnosed in June 2012 after about 18 weeks, and this only happened then because she lost her eyesight.

“She endured months of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy,” she said.

“As you can imagine, this was an unimaginable time for our family. However, Ruby, who goes to Scarcroft Primary School, is now doing well and is a happy, strong little girl and I need to do something that will hopefully make a difference for other families in the future.”

Mrs Holding, of South Bank. revealed she was set to follow in her husband Steve’s running steps by taking part in the London Marathon on April 13.

“With The Press’s assistance, we raised over £11,000 for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) last year when Steve took part in the marathon,” she said.

“This year, I have decided to run the marathon in aid of the Brain Tumour charity for many reasons, but the one reason that stood out for me and Steve was the HeadSmart campaign.”

She said she would run alongside her sister Angie, who would be flying over from America to take part, and whose son Theo, 11, had also been diagnosed last year with a benign tumour, totally unrelated to Ruby's.

Fortunately he was now doing really well, following successful surgery, she said.

Mrs Holding and her husband Steve are also planning a fundraising brunch at their cafe, the Pig & Pastry in Bishopthorpe Road, on Sunday, April 6, while she is also planning to go round all the GPs’ surgeries in York to hand out information packs supplied by the Brain Tumour charity, reminding doctors of the key symptoms.

Parents of pupils at Scarcroft school had also been given leaflets with similar information.