‘Joni’s army’ are getting stronger by the day, says grandmother of seven-year-old Hornchurch girl battling cancer

12:38 10 April 2014

Joni-Mai Stevens

Joni-Mai Stevens


The grandmother of a young Hornchurch girl who is fighting cancer for the second time has praised ‘Joni’s army’, the people who have come forward to help raise money for her treatment.

Joni's grandmother has been making personalised t-shirts to raise money for Joni's treatmentJoni's grandmother has been making personalised t-shirts to raise money for Joni's treatment

Trish Walsh, grandmother of Joni-Mai Stevens, said: “Joni is a very special child, she seems to touch the heart of everyone that meets her. She is gentle and polite and just seems to get on with it.

“My heart? It’s broken. There are no other words to describe it”.

Trish said that when Joni was diagnosed with relapsed ewing’s sarcoma, it was devastating.

She said that the hard work of people holding fundraising events for Joni such as Laura Cull, who held a Run for Joni event in Harrow Lodge Park, Rita O’Leary, who organised a fundraising party at Harold Hill community centre and Laura Mcbride, who will be holding a charity fashion show, has helped.

Rita O'Leary, who organised a fundraising event for Joni, and her family show their support by wearing their 'Joni's army t-shirts'Rita O'Leary, who organised a fundraising event for Joni, and her family show their support by wearing their 'Joni's army t-shirts'

“So that’s where Joni’s army comes in! It’s getting bigger by the week. Joni’s army are there to help, they are there to fight for her,” Trish explained.

“We have been blessed. These people are reaching out to us and donating time, energy and money to help a little sick girl with a beautiful smile and they haven’t even met her! That is amazing. To me it’s magical”.

“I feel now that Joni’s story is getting out there and collectively we all can do something to give Joni a better chance. We can not allow this cancer to win”.

Trish has been making personalised t- shirts which read “Joni’s army are ready to fight- are you?”. They cost £6 and all proceeds will go towards raising money for specialist and potentially life saving treatment overseas.

To buy one please visit

For more information about Joni- Mai and for other fundraisers, click the link on the right.

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