It’s love at first sight when Mara meets a special bear


A special teddy from Cancer Support UK is helping Mara Moyes from Moray face cancer treatment over Christmas – now the three-year-old is supporting the charity’s Cuddles for Christmas appeal

Hospital is no place for a child to spend Christmas. Yet for a child with cancer, there is no other choice than to remain in hospital while receiving treatment. This is why Cancer Support UK is aiming to send 1,500 gorgeous cuddly bears to children’s cancer wards across the UK, to help make Christmas extra special for those children.

The warmable Christmas teddies can bring a child comfort when they need it most and Cancer Support UK has been busy contacting hospitals and hospices to arrange for the bears to reach children that need a cuddle the most.

Caring staff at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, alerted Cancer Support UK to the case of one child in particular, who needed a special bear hug – right now.

Gemma Holding, Cancer Support UK’s CEO, said:

“When we heard about this brave little girl, Mara, who has had a really tough ride with cancer, we knew we wanted to do something sooner rather than later. So, as our Cuddles bear drop isn’t due to take place until towards the end of December, we decided to send her an early surprise gift in the shape of Charlie, our Cancer Support UK bear ambassador.”

Cancer patient MaraMara is just three years old and a happy, cheeky little girl who loves being outside, singing and painting. Her mum, Katy Moyes, from Archiestown said: “Mara can be found one day flouncing around in a tutu and doing odd jobs in her boiler suit and wellies the next. And she’s never happier than when she’s sitting chatting with her big brother.”

However, given her lust for life it was obvious that something wasn’t right when she became subdued and frequently upset.

Katy said: “We called our local GP, spoke to our Nurse Practitioner, were given an appointment, transferred to Elgin and then Aberdeen all in one day. By 11pm that night we’d been told that Mara had leukaemia.”

It’s been an incredibly hard year for the family, but they are looking forward to a Christmas together. They are hoping Mara will start maintenance treatment, which will give them a little bit more normality.

Katy said: “Mara has a lot more understanding about Christmas and it holds a lot of excitement this year. We hope it can be as magical as possible for both children.”

Katy describes the moment Mara was given Charlie bear:

“Mara is completely in love with Charlie Bear and can’t stop stroking him. Recently she’s been struggling to sleep so his gorgeous lavender scent is a very welcome addition to her bed. Thank you to Cancer Support UK, there’s very little that beats seeing that smile!”

In 2020 we helped 4,952 people during their cancer journey, and as a small charity who receive no government support, you are a vital part of our work. For example, a donation of £5 could pay for a pair of toasty warm socks, included in our Kids’Kit, to help with the common side-effect of cold feet during cancer treatment. Please help us send more Kids’ Kits out to children like Mara by making a donation – thank you.