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George Ezra's hero, leukaemia sufferer Arley, raises over £10,000 for Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group to fulfil 9th birthday wish to help other youngsters with cancer



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A boy who was diagnosed with leukaemia after supporting his best friend through treatment for a brain tumour completed a 5km walk in his village to raise money for a children's cancer charity – "because I want better medicine for children," he said.

Arley Fenton is undergoing intensive chemotherapy, but a break in treatment coincided with his fundraiser on Saturday September 25 – three days after his ninth birthday.

He was accompanied on the walk by dad Chris, 40, a financial adviser with Bishop's Stortford firm Hanbury Wealth in Hockerill Street, mum Claire, 39, younger siblings Brodie, 6, and Esme, 2, and a crowd of family and friends.

Arley, right, with mum Claire, dad Chris, brother Brodie and sister Esme (51659102)
Arley, right, with mum Claire, dad Chris, brother Brodie and sister Esme (51659102)

The family, who live in Wadesmill, said Arley's diagnosis in July came out of the blue – but their caring son, who visited his best friend William in hospital and shared regular Facetime calls to support him during lockdown, was determined to help others and raise awareness of childhood cancers.

His birthday wish was to do a sponsored walk for the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and so far he has raised almost £11,000 via his justgiving.com page.

His efforts earned him a birthday shout-out from Brit Award-winning Budapest, Paradise and Shotgun singer-songwriter George Ezra, a friend of the family who hails from Hertford.

George Ezra performing at Standon Calling
George Ezra performing at Standon Calling

He posted a video message on his Twitter account on Arley's birthday encouraging his 684,000 followers to donate to Arley's cause, adding: "I think we can all agree, Arley is a hero, he's a dude. Go on, Arley!" It has been viewed more than 7,700 times.

Dad Chris said: "The day was a big success and Arley made it all the way round his planned 5k route.

"He's always said it wasn't fair that children had cancer. He saw his friend going through a turbulent time and operations – it had a big impact on him, saying that he wished his friend could feel better and then he himself was diagnosed with leukaemia.

"There are only eight boys in his year at his school [Thundridge Primary] and we thought lightning couldn't strike twice – it was his best friend. It's just so cruel.

Arley Fenton completed a walk through his village to raise money for a children's cancer charity (51659111)
Arley Fenton completed a walk through his village to raise money for a children's cancer charity (51659111)

"We put down £500 to aim for and when we told him on his birthday how much he'd raised he was made up!"

Mum Claire said: "Arley is very much about helping children that are suffering. When you say to him that he’s a part of it, he says, ‘I know, but it’s about all the children going through this’.

"That’s just our boy, he’s a very thoughtful person. Through the whole of this he’s just always been asking about other children and how they are."

Brave Arley completed a 5km walk to raise money for fellow child cancer sufferers (51659114)
Brave Arley completed a 5km walk to raise money for fellow child cancer sufferers (51659114)

Arley is 10 weeks into a six-month course of intensive chemotherapy for his T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma and faces a further three years of "some form of chemotherapy".

Ellie Wilkinson, of CCLG’s fundraising team, said: “It’s amazing to hear of Arley’s incredible fundraising and how his first thought when asked how he wants to celebrate his birthday is to think of others. We’re incredibly grateful for his efforts and just want to say a huge thank you to Arley."

To donate to Arley's cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arley-fenton.

Brave Arley completed a 5km walk to raise money for fellow child cancer sufferers (51659105)
Brave Arley completed a 5km walk to raise money for fellow child cancer sufferers (51659105)


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