EIGHT months ago, three-year-old Lily Vine, from Wellington was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Since then, friends and family have been raising money for CLIC Sargent - a charity who have been instrumental in helping Lily's parents (Will and Sarah Vine) since she was diagnosed.

In October 2020, Philip Barnett ran a half marathon to raise money.

READ MORE: Lily Vine's cancer diagnosis inspires half-marathon

And now, Will's close friend Ashley Leeds is staging a 24-hour open mic event to raise much-need funds.

As the duo Vine & Dandy, Ashley and Will have been entertaining local music lovers in the South West for more than 10 years.

Somerset County Gazette: Vine & Dandy, Ashley and Will

“I had been running regular open mic nights for years, as a singer, and had also always wanted to play the guitar," said Ashley.

"So, in the first lockdown, working from home, I decided to concentrate on learning to play favourite songs and challenged myself by running the open mic sessions online.

"I have done that every week since last March 2020. We are now approaching our 52nd gig and I want to do something special to mark the occasion.

“What Lily, Sarah and Will have been through has been horrendous – even in ‘normal’ times, but the Covid-19 social distancing rules have made it even harder for them and their incredible strength and positivity really deserves celebrating.

“Only one parent at a time could be with Lily in hospital, and the restrictions have made it harder to have the contact and support of other children and their families who were going through a similar experience."

Lily was complaining of stomach ache in June 2020, and it was so revealed she had a large tumour in her chest.

She was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, but in November 2020, Lily's parents were told surgery to remove the tumour was "non-viable".

A tumour would typically be removed, as well as the area around it to ensure any rogue cells are also removed. But they were unable to do so in Lily's case because it neighboured her spine, lungs and heart.

Therefore, she required further chemotherapy, and in February 2021 began six weeks of intensive radiotherapy, under general anaesthetic.

“Lily’s incredible positivity and courage, as she’s battled through horribly invasive therapies has given me the inspiration to face my own little challenge, and my music has also been such a great help throughout these lockdown periods,” added Ashley.

Somerset County Gazette: Ashley Leeds

Funds raised from the 24-hour open mic on March 12, in Sidmouth, Devon (where Ashley is from), will go to CLIC Sargent.

Will said they have "so much" to thank the charity for.

"A huge benefit has been the ability to stay in CLIC Sargent accommodation near the hospital in Bristol whilst Lily undergoes her radiotherapy treatment," he added.

"She has had to have a general anaesthetic every morning, five days a week for six weeks whilst she receives the radiotherapy, so having accommodation on the doorstep to the hospital is essential, particularly during these times of increased restrictions.

"It has saved us so much money on hotels and also the time and energy spent driving between Wellington and Bristol.

“To run a room in this house costs £33.00 per family per day, and our target with the 24-hour event is to raise enough money to fund the facility for one family for six months – which is £6,022."

If you would like to donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lilys-live-lounge.