A BOY has been so inspired by his younger brother's cancer fight– and by the medics treating him– that he plans to do a sponsored run to help other boys and girls with leukaemia get better.

Benjamin Hawksby felt helpless watching five-year-old Joshua undergo treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, since he was diagnosed in February.

That was until he struck upon the idea of raising money for wards four and 14 at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary, which look after Joshua.

The Northern Echo: BROTHERLY LOVE: Joshua Hawksby, five, and big brother Benjamin, nineBROTHERLY LOVE: Joshua Hawksby, five, and big brother Benjamin, nine

The nine-year-old, who goes to Staindrop Primary School, is now in training for the Raby Castle 3km Run on Sunday, May 12.

And within days of an online fundraising page being set up for him he had smashed his £200 target.

Parents Dan and Susanne Hawksby, from Staindrop, said they are proud of how all four of their sons are handling Joshua's illness and were moved by Benjamin's fundraising idea.

Stonemason Mr Hawksby said: "It was shock but we keep getting bits of good new here and there and the people at the RVI have been brilliant.

"They might say it's just their job but it is incredible what they do.

"At different points all the boys have been to the hospital and Benjamin decided himself he wanted to help, to say thank you and to help other children like Joshua.

"As a distraction he has been staying with a friend and going to Evenwood Road Runners and he came up the idea of doing the children's run and getting sponsored in aid of the RVI.

"We are very proud of him and he is proud as punch to see how much money people are donating, about £2,000 now, so he can do his bit."

The couple, who also have sons Oliver, seven, and Joseph, three, first took Joshua to hospital on February 11 with a swollen, sore wrist thinking he had rolled out of bed.

Just a week later, they were sent to the RVI.

Mr Hawksby said: "Driving up there you think this is either bad or a big mistake.

"When a doctor says he will chat to you in a side-room it dawns on you how bad.

"Looking back, the longer he spent in hospital on February 18, when he was sent from Darlington to Newcastle, the more poorly he was becoming.

"He started getting bruises but had been sitting in the chair all day and was growing really pale.

"It was a huge shock to us but he started chemotherapy almost there and then, he takes five or six medicines a day and goes to the RVI every Thursday.

"He's responded really well."

Mr and Mrs Hawksby, aged 32 and 34, have been told Joshua is in remission and tests show he has a low chance of the leukaemia returning.

They thanked everyone who has supported the family and sponsored Benjamin and said they plan to do their own fundraising for the RVI in the future.

To sponsor Benjamin visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/daniel-hawksby