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Herbert Thompson Primary School raising funds for ‘a beautiful girl, with a wonderful personality'

A team of 25 staff from Herbert Thompson Primary School in Ely are running in this Sunday's Cardiff 5k Race for Victory, to help raise funds for a young pupil that needs vital medical treatment. 

Nine year old Crystal Smith, a little girl in Year 5, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February 2015, a type of cancer that forms in nerve tissue. 

After undergoing intensive treatment, Crystal went into remission in April 2017. But a recent MRI scan found lumps in her liver and vertebrae, and a bone marrow infection.

Crystal will continue to have chemotherapy, followed by treatment in London and Southampton. Once in remission, the family hope to travel to America for a vaccine treatment which has had good results in clinical trials, preventing the tumours from returning. The cost would be in the region of £150,000.  

Mum and Dad, Sabrina Amor and Nicholas Smith are raising the money to get specialist treatment, and Herbert Thompson primary got involved after Crystal's teacher, Siobhan Richards, visited her at home and heard about what was needed. 

Since then, the school and community have been busy helping raise funds in lots of different ways, with Sunday's sponsored 5 kilometre race the latest in a series of events. 

The 25 members of staff running have so far raised over £700, through their ‘Coins for Crystal' appeal and they are asking for members of the public to donate what they can to help. 

Crystal's Mum, Sabrina, said: "It means a lot to us - the support this time around and last time has been amazing. You don't always expect the support from strangers but it has been wonderful. I always give updates on Facebook and there are always nice comments that I share with Crystal and videos of support; these mean a lot to Crystal and make her smile.  

"She loves the fact that staff are running the race on Sunday and wants to show her support at the event. Everyone's support - including members of the community - has been amazing, and I want to thank everyone for all that they are doing for Crystal, we couldn't do it without them." 

Every year group across the school hosted a different fundraising event, including: crazy hair days; sports events; and fancy dress. Together, the children have so far managed to raise £1980, with the donations still coming in. 

Siobhan Richards organised a clothing collection, which raised £124. While colleague, Emma Harris, donated her hair to the Princess Trust; raising £770 in the process. School cleaner, Amy Fowler, is a doing a sponsored silence as we speak. 

The wider community has been helping too, including organising a raffle and holding a fundraising evening. 

Headteacher of Herbert Thompson Primary School, Mrs Sheena Marsh, said: "Crystal is a beautiful girl, with a wonderful personality. She is very much loved by her family, friends, teachers and community. Her bravery and strength is inspirational and we are behind Crystal and family every step of the way. 

"At times like this the community really comes together, and you see such kindness and generosity. We are always so overwhelmed by the support we receive from our community and would like to thank everyone who has supported Crystal and her family." 

Fiona Guy, the teacher who came up with the idea of entering the Cardiff 5k Race for Victory, said: "We wanted to do something as a staff team to help Crystal, so a local event was perfect. 5 kilometres is great for both the beginner and experienced runners that we have. We can't wait to finish the race as a team, knowing we are helping one of our very special pupils."