Nearly seven years after her mother and grandfather were murdered, 9-year-old Ruby Heuston is facing another heartwrenching challenge.
Ruby was only 3 when her mother Chloe Waterlow, 38, and her grandfather Nick Waterlow, 68, were stabbed to death by Chloe’s mentally ill brother Anthony in 2009. (Anthony was found not guilty on the grounds of paranoid schizophrenia and committed to a psychiatric hospital.)
Now, Ruby has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And during her first night in hospital late last year, she suffered a cerebral haemorrhage that has left her permanently blind. She also had to learn to walk again.
In light of the heartbreaking news, Australians have swarmed to a charity website, which is raising funds to pay for a full-time occupational therapist “to rehabilitate Ruby for life without sight,” reads a statement from the family, who have set up the page on charity site YouCaring.
Ruby, who lives in Sydney with her father Ben and brothers Will and James, "is a beautiful young girl,” said the family. “Courageous, vivacious, funny, inspirational and keen to live life to the full. Every day she tries not let herself or others down.”
To employ a dedicated therapist, the family seeks $220,000.
Ruby “loves being read aloud Harry Potter, singing to Taylor Swift, dancing to Jesse J, giggling over pizza with her friends, playing the ukulele and creating mischief with her brothers,” said the family.
And her latest goal? “To run for Australia in the Paralympics!”
You can donate here.