A two-hour ‘zumbathon’ raised thousands of pounds for a two-year-old girl suffering from an aggressive form of cancer.

When Beckie Williams, of Ennerdale Drive, Frodsham, first met little Anya Bentham through her work as a health play specialist at the Countess of Chester Hospital, she couldn’t believe how much the toddler had been through in her short life.

Anya, from Waverton, Chester, suffers from neuroblastoma, but the £250,000 therapy she desperately needs to save her life is not available on the NHS.

But a huge campaign to raise the money needed to send Anya to the USA for the pioneering treatment has already raised more than £160,000.

Beckie was so touched by Anya’s story that she decided to do her own bit to donate to the cause, by holding a two-hour zumbathon in Frodsham.

Five instructors from Delamere, Runcorn and Malpas braved the sweltering heat to lead the event, which included a raffle, crafts and gifts and cakes.

Beckie said: “My job involves looking after poorly children and their emotional well-being, distracting them through procedures, using preparation techniques and post procedural play.

“During my time I had the pleasure of meeting Anya and her family, providing her activities and support to make the hospital experience as pleasant and less intimidating as possible.

“Anya is so inspirational; all she has been through and is going through but she still has that cheeky smile and twinkle in her eye.”

Beckie added: “I just knew I had to do my bit to help her get one step closer to this potentially life saving treatment.

“The zumbathon raised £603 and the total is rising every day.

“Everybody’s been so generous and supported this event – and the brilliant news is that Barclays have agreed to match the total amount, so as it stands the event has raised £1,206.

You can still donate to the zumbathon at www.justgiving.com/zumbafun4anya.