A loving aunt has shared praise for the “brilliant staff” and “incredible care” given to her young niece battling cancer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital - and she raised more than £2,000 for charity.
In April 2023, the family of five-year-old Neiva Kudryk, from Sheffield, received the heartbreaking news that she had cancer. What had started as pain in her shoulder was later revealed to be osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Now, little Neiva faces intensive chemotherapy on Ward 6, where children with cancer and blood disorders are cared for at Sheffield Children's Hospital.
As a thank you to the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and other wonderful staff at Sheffield Children’s, Neiva’s aunt, Rebecca Kudryk, took on the Sheffield 10K on September 24 for Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Rebecca ultimately smashed her £500 target for the charity by raising over £2,200 thanks to more than 80 supporters.
Aunt Rebecca said: “Neiva takes every single thing she’s going through in her stride. She always has a smile on her face and inspires her whole family to smile and keep going as well.
"I was very nervous to walk into Ward 6 for the first time. You have a perception that the ward would be full of sadness, but the hospital makes it a home from home. The staff are so kind and so personable. I wanted to do something positive that expresses our thanks to the ward - I’d thank each and every staff member if I could.
"Thank you to every single person who shared kind words of encouragement, well wishes and donated to this amazing charity.”
Neiva’s condition requires intensive multi-drug chemotherapy in order to improve her chances of being cured. This means spending many months in hospital to help manage the side effects of the treatment.
She has also undergone a complex 12-hour operation in Birmingham Children’s Hospital to save her right arm where the tumour was located. This involved using a small bone from her leg as a replacement for the bone that had the tumour in it.
Neiva’s dad, Sam, said: "I want to say thank you to all those that have donated, we are genuinely touched by the generosity of not only friends and family, but the public.
"I’d never understood just what chemotherapy entails for children and their families. Parents and their beautiful children will go through years of battles to hold cancer at bay.
"It’s the countless blood tests, transfusions, medication, and all the effects that come with it that make it the most difficult, but amongst this, the care and support of passionate staff as well as the brilliant facilities at Sheffield Children’s really do make a difference.
"On behalf of the whole family, and especially Neiva, we want to say a huge thank you to Sheffield Children’s, the charity, and those that have supported us."
There’s still time to donate, please visit tchc.org.uk/neiva.