SCHOOLFRIENDS of a courageous six-year-old boy have created a video of jokes, songs and messages to help keep a smile on his face as he fights leukaemia.

Cobie (CORR) Woods, six, has been absent from Cockton Hill Infants School, in Bishop Auckland, since February 15 but is desperate to return so he can play with his friends.

His classmates, together with Cockton Hill Junior School, where is brother, Brandan (CORR), eight, is a pupil decided to fundraise for him to help ease the financial burden on the family as he receives treatment.

“We can’t thank them enough,” said Cobie’s mother Deborah, 28. “The school has been really good and his teacher has been to visit him. The money has been a massive help to us.

“He is desperate to go back to school but we have to be careful with him. We are going to try three mornings a week and see how it goes. He loves it there.”

Cobie’s friends made him a giant get well soon card as well as the video. Family and friends have also made special trips to see him in hospital and at home.

Mrs Woods said: “He has been really brave and everyone has said how strong he is. He always seems to be smiling and just wants to play.”

The football-mad youngster has to undergo four rounds of chemotherapy as well as twice weekly check-ups and two lumbar punctures over a six month period.

Doctors have told Mrs Woods and her husband Ross, 30, that Cobie, who plays for St Mary’s Juniors, in Bishop Auckland, is responding well to treatment.

It was only by chance the illness was diagnosed and his parents are keen to raise awareness of the symptoms.

Cobie, of St Helen Auckland, developed a rash on the lower half of his body and some bruises. His parents believed it was a virus but after a blood test at the doctors, the happy-go-lucky schoolboy was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle.

“We didn’t think too much of the rash,” added Mrs Woods. “We thought it might have been a virus but he wasn’t complaining of feeling ill.

“Then he got these bruises so we took him to get checked out.

“It was a massive shock but he has been so brave and just hasn’t given up. Apparently the symptoms he had are normal but we just wouldn’t have known that. We think it is important people are aware of them.”