LITTLE Leighton Cook enjoys his fourth birthday almost exactly a year after he was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer.
As revealed in Saturday’s Echo, the youngster is undergoing treatment after battling the rare childhood disease, neuroblastoma.
His family have since started an appeal to raise funds for stem cell treatment he may need in the upcoming months.
Leighton, of Merryweather Rise, Tunstall, has since been receiving treatment at the RVI in Newcastle as doctors look to save him.
Leighton’s parents, Dave, 54, and Lynzie, 34, started a fund with a £50,000 target so that Leighton can receive pioneering stem cell treatment if his needs it this autumn.
So far through various activities they have managed to collect over £16,000, with many Wearsiders donating after being touched by the plucky boy’s story.
Walkers recently travelled from Doncaster to Sunderland to help out Leighton.
After a three-day trek the group arrived at Blakeneys, Doxford Park, where a charity night was held for him.
Lynzie said: “It was a really good show of support.
“It looks like they’ve raised £3,000 and £100 was raised on the night too.
“Leighton’s been in his element and really enjoyed it on a very emotional night.”
Leighton, brother to Taylor, 13, Grant, 12, Kieron, eight, and Ethan, six, will also be the focus of attention at another charity evening this Friday called “Leighton Cook - One Year On”, at the Inn Place, Doxford Park.
A disco and raffle will be held to raise money for Leighton’s appeal.