A FIVE year-old schoolboy fighting leukaemia is urging people to give up their clothes for life saving research.

Ryan Lafford lives with his mum Lauren, dad Jodi and three-year-old brother Ellis in Wheatley and is currently on maintenance treatment for the condition. This week he started his first year of school at Wheatley Primary.

The battling youngster is encouraging others to help more children survive cancer by donating any pre-loved clothing to retail store TK Maxx in support of an appeal by Cancer Research UK for Children and Young People.

Each bag of items donated could raise up to £25 to help fund research into children’s and young people’s cancers when sold in Cancer Research UK shops.

Ryan’s family know first-hand how important research is in helping save lives.

In May last year, Ryan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – a cancer of the white blood cells, which help the body to fight infection.

ALL is the most common type of leukaemia in children, with around 430 cases diagnosed each year in the UK.

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Oxford Mail:

Mrs Lafford said: “I first noticed bruising on Ryan’s legs, but as an active boy running around it wasn’t unusual. He was also getting tired, but as he had just started nursery full-time, we weren’t surprised, and we put it down to a change of routine and starting nursery.

“Then Ryan started complaining of headaches, then it was a stomach ache and back ache. It was only when we went away to Bournemouth for a day and I started to put sunscreen on Ryan that I noticed his back and stomach and legs had bruising on and that’s when we knew something wasn’t right.”

Ryan was referred to the John Radcliffe Hospital after the GP found he had an enlarged spleen.

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He was diagnosed with ALL, but complications arose.

Ms Lafford said: “Once Ryan was at the John Radcliffe Hospital, he found he couldn’t walk following his treatment.

“He spent 12 weeks in hospital due to treatment and infections on top of this.”

Ryan is now in maintenance treatment and able to go to school.

Mrs Lafford added: “Ryan and I will be having a good clear out at home and finding clothes and items to donate to our local TK Maxx store.

"I hope everyone in Oxford will get behind this vitally important campaign and turn something they no longer need into funds for such a fantastic cause.”

TK Maxx is a big corporate supporter of Cancer Research UK’s work into children’s and young people’s cancers.

By donating clothes, you can also help cancer research.