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A brave six-year-old from Cramlington, who last year was diagnosed with a life-threatening tumour, is raising vital funds to assist with research into childhood cancers.

William Richardson who suffered from Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive, rare type of cancer, required a reinforced buggy for mobility just a year ago.

But this weekend the courageous six-year-old will be running alongside his family on behalf of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) in the 34th annual Children’s Cancer Run.

In 2015, when William was first diagnosed, the family were then sent 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, will also be taking 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.”

So far, William, who won a North East Braveheart award for showing courage during his battle with the disease, has raised just over £600 for the NECCR.

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.

In May 2015, the Run raised over £189,000 for the NECCR, adding to the £5 million which has already been raised by Children’s Cancer runners over the years.

Cancer survivor and Chairman of the NECCR, Chris Peacock, said: “We’re delighted to have William and his family join us for the run this year. He should be so proud of how much he has raised to help other children like him who are battling cancer. All the volunteers, families and fun-runners who take part in the event, help to raise vital funds for research into children’s cancer, so we can finally beat the disease once and for all. Every year we’re overwhelmed by the support we receive from people like young William.”

To sponsor William, visit:https://childrenscancerrun.everydayhero.com/uk/Richardson_family

To enter, join or create a team, or for more details about the event, please visit:  www.childrenscancerrun.co.uk

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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