A seven-year-old LFC fan sang You Will Never Walk Alone to her entire street ahead of an operation that could see her lose the ability to talk.
Ruby Delacruz, seven, from Toxteth, has neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition which affects 1 in 2500 births.
The condition causes tumours to grow on nerves around the body, as well as causing complications with sight, hearing, learning difficulties and seizures.
In the weeks to come Ruby will be undergoing treatment for one of her tumours, which could leave her unable to walk or talk.
Stan Allen, a local singer – known as Stan the Man – was entertaining residents at Clap for Carers every Thursday during lockdown by singing outside his front door, with neighbours taking videos of the singalongs which “went crazy” on social media.
After hearing about Ruby’s plight he decided to throw the fundraising party for her and perform a duet of their favourite LFC song after she approached him during the final weekly clap.
And and with support from local residents and shops the party raised over £300 for Alder Hey Hospital, where Ruby receives regular treatment.
Stan told the ECHO: “We’d been having a bit of a socially distanced get together every Thursday during lockdown. The whole street would come out to clap and I’d do a few songs afterwards.
“Families would be at their doorsteps singing and dancing along and Ruby was one of my biggest fans, always dancing away.
“People would even walk around from neighbouring streets to listen – it was great and brought the whole community together. Someone put videos of it on Facebook and I was amazed at the response – thousands of people watched the videos.
“I got messages from New York, Turkey, Belgium, everywhere from people – it was so unexpected and it was all so positive in the middle of all the gloom of lockdown.
“On the final Thursday, Ruby came up to me and asked if we would be doing it again soon. I said I’d arrange a party for everyone when the pandemic was over. She told me she might not be here as she was going into hospital.
“I spoke with her mum Kirsty, who explained to me that Ruby, herself and her baby all had the same genetic condition and Ruby would have to go for treatment soon for one of the tumours she has and that the treatment might leave her unable to walk and talk.
“So I thought, well we need to make sure she has a great party and do a big singalong.”
Stan got to work organising the event with neighbours, and also arranged a raffle to raise funds for Alder Hey Hospital, with local shops, including Dean’s Barber Shop, Tesco and Fixitt Phones on Park Road, also getting involved to provide support.
Mum Kirsty Robinson, 26, who also suffers from the rare condition, told the ECHO that Ruby “hadn’t stopped talking about it and was dead excited” ahead of her duet and had been practising “non-stop”.
Both Stan and Ruby are big LFC fans, and mum Kirsty said that when they sung their version of You’ll Never Walk Alone in front of cheering neighbours, Ruby was “over the moon.”
Kirsty told the ECHO: “Ruby was just so made up, she was over the moon.
“Ruby is in pain a lot, and it really affects her balance too. She has a tumour that’s growing from her hip up to her neck.
“The condition affects people in all different ways, and for Ruby, it’s been very difficult – the doctors are hoping medication is going to help, but if that doesn’t work she’ll have to go into hospital for an operation, and there’s a risk she could lose the ability to walk and talk.
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“We’re all hoping for a good outcome and hopefully she won’t need surgery. We just take it all as it comes.
Kirsty added: “There’s a good community spirit here and it was good to see people coming together like that, it just took her mind off everything.”
For Stan, the way the community has come together is all part of what he finds so special about Toxteth.
He said: “I was only too honoured to be asked to do the duet with her and it was just great to see everyone’s support, but it’s not unexpected – it’s Liverpool 8 – people stick together and that’s what we do.”