TWO families touched by cancer have teamed up with a boxing club to raise more than £5,000 for the hospital where their loved ones were treated.

Four-year-old Bede Donkin, Joe Hardman, 18, and their families were devastated when both were diagnosed with cancer.

Bede, who was three at the time, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in February this year.

Mum Saskia Gordon, said she and dad Alan Donkin put their little girl being out of sorts down to starting nursery but, after a visit to the GP, were rushed straight to the Great North Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

Bede, of Willington, then spent more than two weeks in hospital on high dose chemotherapy and steroids.

Over seven months of treatment, the youngster has had blood and platelets transfusions and intensive chemotherapy. She currently has chemotherapy at home and 12-weekly lumbar punctures with her treatment set to continue until 2020.

Joe was treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, after he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in October 2017 after emergency surgery.

The teenager underwent four rounds of chemotherapy but needed a bone marrow transplant, which he had in April 2018 thanks to donor cells from little sister Grace.

And after almost ten weeks in total isolation, Joe was able to go home to his parents in Brandon, Durham, in June. He still attends the RVI every week for appointments and treatment.

The families met through mutual friends at Brandon Boxing Club, where Bede’s brother, Jude, trains.

Both families have raised more than £2,000 each with different events and came together for a joint fundraiser at the club on September 16, which raised more than £1,000.

The club’s owner, Alex Oliver, said the families are both big parts of the club and members were proud to be able to support them. Miss Gordon said: “The club have provided invaluable support for Jude and all of the family and we will never be able to thank them enough for everything the do for us.

"The staff at the RVI have been amazing and for this reason we wanted to give something back to them.”

Joe added: “It’s so impressive how everyone has come together.”

More fundraisers are planned throughout September, which is childhood cancer awareness month.

A charity night will be held at Meadowfield Social Club on September 29, at 6.30pm, in aid of wards three, four and 14 at the RVI. Tickets are available from Mrs Hardman via Facebook or calling 07982-104796. To donate to Bede’s page visit