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A much-loved North East fun-run this year reached a fundraising milestone providing a vital boost to funding for research into childhood cancers.

Organised by the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) the Children’s Cancer Run, that this year celebrated its 34th anniversary, exceeded all previous fundraising totals – raising over £200,000 – adding to the £6 million donated by dedicated supporters over the past three decades.

When the run began, approximately 75% of young people who contracted cancer died from the disease. Now thanks to the developments in research approximately 75% survive, with the Northern Institute of Cancer Research at the forefront of this research.

The run, sponsored by Greggs and held at Newcastle Racecourse, this year saw around 10,000 fundraisers put their best foot forward to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Cancer survivor, Chairman of the NECCR and founder of the event, Chris Peacock, said: “The Children’s Cancer Run has become a fantastic way of getting all the young people from local schools, sports and recreation groups taking part, all raising significant funds for the NECCR.

“Almost everybody you speak to today has been affectedly either directly or indirectly by cancer and to be able to support research and trials that are fighting to eradicate this is so essential.

“We hope as many people as possible will be able to take part in the event in 2017 and we will be able to not only match the success of previous runs, but also take it to the next level.”

Cancer is the number one cause of non-accidental death in young children in the UK. The money raised for the NECCR directly funds research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer, helping to establish the North East as one of the world leaders in this specialist area of research.

Taking part in this year’s run was William Richardson, a brave six-year-old from Cramlington, who last year was diagnosed with a life-threatening tumour – Rhabdomyosarcoma.

At the time of William’s diagnosis, his family travelled thousands of miles to Oklahoma City in the USA for proton beam therapy, which sees high energy beams of radiation targeting the cancerous cells with pinpoint accuracy. The therapy is currently not available in the UK.

William’s mother, Marie Richardson, his father, Craig Richardson, and brother, Alexander Richardson, 2, all took part in this year’s run and mini fun run.

Marie said: “William has made significant progress so far this year and at the end of April he returned to school full time after receiving the good news that his tumour has reduced significantly.

“For our family, taking part in this year’s Children’s Cancer Run was a quick decision. Funding clinical trials and research into new, less aggressive treatments is vitally important, not only to the children at the Great North Children’s Hospital, but also to young sufferers around the world who will benefit from the research carried out in the North East.”

This year saw the opening of the NECCR’s very own research laboratory at Newcastle University. Working in partnership with Newcastle University the charity has helped to raise the £5.5million needed to build the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre and contributed £500,000 from the Children’s Cancer Run and fundraising by our dedicated supporters.

Anyone who would like to organise their own fundraising event for the NECCR, find out more about the charity or get involved can contact fundraiser Janet Price at janet@neccr.org.uk or 07808 349 570.

If you’d like to find out more about the NECCR, visit the charity’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChildrensCancerResearch  and Twitter at www.twitter.com/NECCR

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