Zara, 8, conquers virtual mountain climb amid mum's cancer battle

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, with her daughter, Zara

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, with her daughter, Zara - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

A brave eight-year-old girl has raised thousands of pounds for charity as her mum battles cancer. 

Zara Habrouk, from Toftwood in Dereham, has made more than £3,000 for Dereham Cancer Care (DCC) after her mother, Nicola, was diagnosed with the disease. 

Eight-year-old Zara Habrouk, from Toftwood in Dereham, has completed a virtual mountain climb

Eight-year-old Zara Habrouk, from Toftwood in Dereham, has completed a virtual mountain climb amid her mum Nicola's cancer battle - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

Mrs Habrouk was told she had breast cancer in July and would require chemotherapy before an operation later this year. 

But over the ensuing months, DCC has been on hand to support the 41-year-old through her fight. 

Recognising her mum had a mountain to climb, Zara decided to say thank you by trekking the equivalent of Scafell PIke up her stairs at home - setting herself a fundraising target of £500.

Zara Habrouk, from Toftwood, has made £3,000 for Dereham Cancer Care

Zara Habrouk, from Toftwood, has made £3,000 for Dereham Cancer Care - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

"As soon as I was diagnosed, I got in touch with Dereham Cancer Care," said Mrs Habrouk. 

"Your mind just goes into overdrive and you are thinking about what you need to consider. Zoe Flint from DCC has been that shoulder to cry on - they've all been immense.


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"Zara has always been someone who wants to do good. She asked what she could do to help, and I said 'if you want to raise money for DCC, that would make me so happy'.

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, says she is "super proud" of her daughter, Zara

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, says she is "super proud" of her daughter, Zara - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

"I wondered what we could do at home, and she suggested a virtual mountain climb."

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Not one to do things by halves, Zara soon began darting up and down the stairs as quick as she could. 

Before she knew it, the determined youngster had reached the peak of England's tallest mountain.  

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2021

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2021 - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

And Zara has clearly captured the public's imagination, going on to raise six times her initial target. 

"I am a super proud mum," added Mrs Habrouk. "Zara is eight-years-old and to want to do that is incredible.

"From talking to Zoe, I know this money will make such a difference. That is six months' rent for DCC."

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, with her daughter, Zara,

Nicola Habrouk, from Toftwood, with her daughter, Zara, - Credit: Nicola Habrouk

Following her daughter's heroic effort, Mrs Habrouk simply wants others to know that support is available during the darkest of times. 

"Nobody wants to hear they've got cancer, but statistically a large proportion of people are going to face that," she said. 

"It is awful and the treatment is gruelling but, with the kind of support Dereham Cancer Care has offered me, you can get through it."

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