A sponsored dip for little Bradley

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A COMMUNITY effort is underway to raise money for a hospital treating a poorly youngster who is battling cancer.

At the tender age of just 20-months-old, little Bradley Lowery has been struck down with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects less than 100 children in the UK each year.

Bradley, who lives with his parents Gemma and Carl Lowery in Blackhall, is receiving treatment at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) after he was diagnosed with the condition on January 8.

He has a tumour above his left kidney in the adrenal gland, which is so large that it takes up most of his stomach and has spread to the lymph nodes and lungs.

Villagers are rallying around Bradley and his family, and have organised a number of events to raise funds for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, based at the RVI.

Tomorrow at 10.30am, friends of the family will take part in ‘Bradley’s Sponsored Dip’ at Seaton Carew.

Gemma said: “Since finding out Bradley has cancer, people from our local community and surrounding villages have pulled together and given us some amazing support.

“We are overwhelmed and would like to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts.”

Sammy Jo Woods, 25, who is close friends with Gemma and Carl, will lead a stampede of women into the water.

Sammy Jo said: “Bradley’s diagnosis came as a complete shock to everyone, and it’s a very tough time for the family so we wanted to show some support to them.”

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of specialised nerve cells called neural crest cells, involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues.

Dee Tyler, CLIC Sargent area fundraising manager for the North-East, said: “This is a fantastic and novel way to raise funds, and we are extremely grateful to Sammy Jo and her friends for all their efforts.”

Other groups getting behind the fundraising effort include Blackhall Rocks Residents’ Association and their youth group, which held a sponsored litter pick earlier this month.

To take part in the event, or sponsor the dippers, either sign up on the day or call Dee Tyler on (0113) 2307902.