Special award for cancer-battling Hartlepool six-year-old

A brave boy who has battled cancer for two-and-a-half years '˜felt like royalty' after picking up a special award.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 4:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 4:56 pm
Leyton Anderson with his mum Dawn and dad Jamie Rowbotham. Picture by FRANK REID

Leyton Anderson, six, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November 2015.

The Hartlepool youngster is more than two years into a three-year treatment programme and has battled the disease courageously.

That bravery has been recognised after Leyton was handed a Bravehearts award, which honours children for the courage and strength they have shown in battling illness.

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Leyton arrived at the venue for the awards ceremony – Newcastle’s St James’s Park – in a limousine as he was treated like a star.

Mum Dawn, from the King Oswy area of Hartlepool, said: “It was a brilliant night and we’re so proud that Leyton has won this award.

“He was picked up in a limo and thought he was royalty.

“There were so many other children battling illnesses there and it was inspiring to see so many families going through similar things.

“It’s amazing how much strength children have to just get on with things.”

Leyton’s treatment is progressing well and the Barnard Grove Primary School pupil is due to complete the treatment, at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, next March.

It has been a tough time for Leyton and the family, including Dawn, Leyton’s dad Jamie Rowbotham, and his sisters Danielle, 20, Cameron, 19, and Ellie, 13.

Dawn added: “There have been emotional times, like when he lost his hair, but otherwise he has just got on with everything and taken it in his stride.

“The first half a year of treatment was very intense, but he has just got on with it.

“The staff at the RVI have been amazing and the treatment has all gone well so far.”

Ahead of the awards ceremony, Leyton was given a tour of St James’s Park and met Newcastle United legend Bob Moncur and BBC Look North presenter Carol Malia.

Leyton was diagnosed with acute lymphobastic leukaemia after falling ill with pain in his arms and legs in November 2015.

Since then, he has had to undergo a constant round of weekly hospital visits, chemotherapy and lumbar punctures.