Mum to tackle charity abseil inspired by son diagnosed with cancer

Hayley Ruddy and son Joey
Hayley Ruddy and son Joey

A brave mum from Giltbrook will abseil for charity down the hospital where her baby son is undergoing treatment to save his life after he was diagnosed with cancer at just nine weeks old.

Hayley Ruddy, 24, will take on the 85ft descent down the side of the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham on Sunday (July 13). She is raising money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, which has provided support since her son Joey was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Now six months old, Joey is undergoing his third course of chemotherapy and is waiting for a bone-marrow transplant, which is due later this month.

Despite the family’s world being rocked by Joey’s illness, full-time mum Hayley says she has been looking forward to the charity challenge since seeing a leaflet for the ‘Last Chance Abseil’.

“I wanted to raise money for children with cancer and I want to give something back to CLIC Sargent, as it has been such a great help for us,” said Hayley, who is being supported by her partner, Joey’s dad Jay Martyn, 25, and daughter, Mya-Grace, three.

Hayley added: “I want families to receive the same sort of support. My CLIC Sargent-funded social worker Tamsin has really been there for me.

“Whether I am feeling doubtful or the doctors are using big medical words that I don’t understand, she will explain what’s happening and we are grateful for the financial support that the charity has given to us too.”

However, Hayley admitted that she is apprehensive about the daredevil stunt.

“This is going to be my first abseil and I’m dead nervous because I’m scared of heights,” she revealed.

Hayley also hopes the abseil will raise awareness about spotting cancer in young children, as leukaemia spreads quickly and early diagnosis is crucial.

Joey was originally taken to his doctor’s after a purple lump was spotted on his head. But when he began to show bruising over his body too, Hayley rushed him to A&E.

She said: “It was a shock because of how young he was.”

Joey is doing really well at the moment and if he responds well to the bone-marrow transplant he could be back home by the end of the summer.

All proceeds from the abseil will help CLIC Sargent provide vital services, including nurses and care professionals in hospital, grants to help families meet extra costs and free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation close to the main children’s cancer centres, including Billy’s House opposite the QMC.

CLIC Sargent’s regional fundraising manager, Nichola Doran, said: “Taking part in the QMC Abseil is a great way to challenge yourself and help make a difference to the lives of children like Joey.”

The event on Sunday will be the final abseil at the QMC for the cancer charity.

To sponsor Hayley and help her reach a target of £1,000, visit: