Family of inspirational Hornchurch cancer girl Joni-Mai, 5 appeal for help from community

A Hornchurch family is appealing for help from their community as their five-year-old daughter battles a rare form of bone cancer.

The family and friends of Joni-Mai Stevens who has Ewings Sarcoma are trying to raise money for the children’s ward at the UCL Hospital, London where the youngster is being treated.

Joni Mai’s grandmother, Trish Walsh said: “The type of cancer that Joni-Mai has is very rare and it is even more rare for a five year old girl to be suffering from this condition, Ewings Sarcoma usually targets teenage boys.

“It makes it very hard for the children to get around so we want to make sure that the children have things in the ward to keep their minds off things.”

Six months ago Joni-Mai, who goes to Scotts Primary School in Hornchurch came home complaining of a sore leg after a fall in the playground.

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The family took her to the polyclinic a few weeks later where she was diagnosed with a disturbed haemotoma.

When the pain still didn’t go, the family returned to their GP who later transferred her to Queen’s Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford for tests.

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Just four weeks ago Joni-Mai was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare type of disease where cancer cells occur in the bone.

Trish said: “It has been a very long journey.

“It just started off as something simple like a little playground scrape and we did not even think anything of it.

“It was the sadest day when she was diagnosed with the condition.”

She added: “The fall at school was actually the saving grace and if this didn’t happen the tumour would have gone undetected.”

Joni-Mai is now undergoing a course of chemotherapy at the UCL hospital in London.

The family and friends of the youngster are rallying together to support her and are trying to raise money to provide a holiday for the family at the end of her course of treatment.

Trish is set to shave her hair off on Sunday to raise money to buy three Nintendo Ds for the children’s ward.

Family friend Laura Cull is also holding a Run for Joni in Harrow Lodge Park on Sunday December 11 from 12pm onwards.

Trish said: “It all came as a real shock to Joni-Mai and she found loosing her hair very hard, but she is amazing and an inspiration to all of us.”

To take part in the run contact or visit

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