A six-year-old girl with cancer has become the inspiration for a charity book to be published later this year.
Ruby Stewart has stage four alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue tumour. She was diagnosed with the disease at only four years old.
The picture book will be sold to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and is set for release in the first week of December.
The idea for the book came from copywriter Kevin Anderson, whose son attends the same Inchture Primary School with Ruby.
He said: “In the course of dropping my son off at school, I met Ruby and her parents. I wanted to do something to raise awareness [of the cancer].
“I wanted to do something to make her smile.”
He wrote ‘The Unicorn with the Ruby Horn’, to reflect Ruby’s love of unicorns.
The book will be between 16 and 24 pages and will be highly colourful. It will be poem-based and covers the themes of friendship, being different and overcoming fears.
Despite undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy and numerous setbacks, Ruby is described as having shown a “remarkable level of bravery”.
Her parents, Andy and Claire Stewart, said: “Ruby is a very happy girl despite her cancer. Most of the time she doesn’t feel different.
“She lives her life as much as she can like a normal 6-year-old. She is very active, full of fun and optimism.”
Claire and Andy added that the book “means a lot” to Ruby and makes her “happy”. They said she is “very grateful” to those involved in its creation.
Ruby’s bravery also proved to be inspirational for the book’s illustrator, who got involved in the project less than an hour after reading about it.
Eileen McGinley saw a post online asking for illustrators and, having contacted Kevin, had drawn up the prototype of Ruby the Unicorn.
She said: “As soon as I found out about Ruby, I realised I had to do something to help.
“Personally, I feel really honoured to be involved in the project. This is how I can help – by bringing the story to life.”
Ruby’s parents said: “It’s amazing that people want to do so much for Ruby. The community within Inchture has been brilliant, particularly the school, but also the local businesses.
“We feel very lucky to live in such a supportive neighbourhood.
“We are very grateful to Kevin and Eileen for everything they are doing. It speaks volumes for their generosity, kindness and compassion.”
The book can be purchased and donations can be made on Ruby’s fundraising page.