A SCHOOLBOY who lost his older sister to cancer has raised money to thank a charity for its support.

Seven-year-old Archie Smith, from Lanchester, County Durham, raised more than £600 for The Sick Children’s Trust and Bethany’s Wish after organising a pyjama party at his school in sister Lucia’s memory.

More than 500 pupils and staff from Lanchester Endowed Parochial Primary took party in the pyjama party to say thank you for the free accommodation provided by the charity while Lucia battled cancer in Newcastle.

She was diagnosed two years ago, aged eight, with kidney cancer following scans which revealed she had a Wilms’ tumour.

She underwent chemotherapy at her local hospital, but was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for an 11 hour operation to remove the tumour.

Lucia remained on the paediatric intensive care unit for a week before being transferred to a general ward at the hospital.

Gemma, Archie and Lucia’s mum, said: “My memory of the whole experience is a complete blur.

“It was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I just wanted to make sure I could be there for Lucia when she needed me which is why I found Crawford House such a valuable resource.

“It took away the practical stress of finding somewhere near to stay every night and let me concentrate on what mattered most, supporting my daughter.”

Despite the surgery and further treatment, Lucia’s condition deteriorated over the next year and her family received the devastating news that there was nothing more that could be done for her.

Lucia died in May last year, aged nine, but her brother wanted to thank the charities that helped his family.

His mother said: “I am so incredibly proud of Archie for the way he has handled everything since we lost Lucia.

“He was extremely close to his big sister and I know how much he misses her. It was his idea to organise a pyjama party and he wrote a letter to the headmistress of his school to ask if this would be possible.

“The school agreed readily and supported him fully to make the event a success.”