A cancer survivor is set to tackle a virtual half marathon dressed as a Disney princess in memory of a three-year-old girl who passed away.

Nicky Stone will take on the Royal Parks Half Marathon today as she bids to raise funds for Rayleigh-based charity Aoife’s Bubbles.

The charity was set up after Aoife Flanagan-Gibbs, who had been repeatedly misdiagnosed with constipation, heartbreakingly lost her battle with a rare form of germ cell cancer in 2019.

Having overcome a rare form of cancer herself, Nicky will take on the 13.1-mile challenge kitted out as Aoife’s favourite Disney character.

The runner feels a close bond with Aoife’s tragic story after being diagnosed with cancer herself in 2014.

Nicky, of Leigh, said: “Aoife was brought up by her mum, Eilish, and my cousin, Richard.

“Because of that, she is close to my heart and I feel like we are kindred spirits because we both had our battles with rare forms of cancer.

“I was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a cancer which starts in your appendix, but thankfully overcome it after a 12-hour operation in 2014.

“I’m going to be raising money for Aoife’s Bubbles in today's half marathon and I’m making sure I dress as Princess Elsa because she loved Frozen.”

With the event being held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, competitors are able to set their own route in order to reach the distance of 13.1 miles.

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Nicky, 50, has tailored her personal course to places Aoife loved visiting.

She added: “I’m starting in Leigh before heading to Belfairs Woods, Blenheim Park, Chalkwell Park, Priory Park, Southchurch Park and the Garrison.

“I’ll complete the 13.1 miles by heading along the seafront and finishing at the Rossi ice cream shop.

“Aoife loved heading to all of those places so it’s important to me that I visit each and every one of them in her memory.

“My Romanian rescue dog Rosie will also be coming along with me and it’s the perfect way to raise awareness of Aoife’s Bubbles.”

Aoife was just three-years-old when she was diagnosed and died five days later.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/campaign/NickyStonesVirtualHalfMarathonforAoife.