A County Durham family has spoken of their heartache after their precious baby boy was diagnosed with leukaemia at just 11 months of age. 

Demi Harrison and Bradley Bulmer of Chilton, near Newton Aycliffe, were left devastated after young Ashton's diagnosis in August, this year.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Ashton's mother Demi revealed how their son had fallen ill with a virus following symptoms of cold and flu.

But when he did not bounce back, his parents took him to hospital, where tests revealed that Ashton actually had acute myeliod leukaemia (AML).

This is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the white blood cells. 

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The Northern Echo: Baby Ashton, 11 months old, smiling though chemotherapy in Chilton, County DurhamBaby Ashton, 11 months old, smiling though chemotherapy in Chilton, County Durham (Image: Ashton's Parents)

And since then, Ashton has received one round of chemotherapy and is due to start another round in the coming weeks.

Demi said: "He's responded well to the first round of treatment, but he has lots to go.

"He'll have eight rounds of chemo on two-week intervals - two weeks on, two weeks off.

"Hospital staff have told us that his recovery all depends on how Ashton's little body responds to treatment, as chemo is so intensive on him. The last few weeks have been torture - it's the not knowing."

The Northern Echo: Ashton's parents, Demi Harrison, Bradley Bulmer, and their daughterAshton's parents, Demi Harrison, Bradley Bulmer, and their daughter (Image: Demi Harrison)

"Bradley will have to take the full 8 months of Ashton's treatment off, so fundraising will be a huge help financially for our family.

"We have set aside all of the money for when we need it, and are also saving up for a trip to Disneyland for Ashton."

The diagnosis has been a huge hit for the family, but Ashton's nana, Pamela also said: ''It has been amazing to see how many people have come together to support us.

"I have had so many people messaging to say they have been thinking about us, and buying raffle tickets and bonus ball draws.''

The family has since organised a sponsored, superhero-themed group walk around Durham river on Sunday, and is hoping to raise money to help Ashton.

Everyone is getting involved - with Pamela even taking part, despite being in a wheelchair after having a knee replacement. 

This is just the latest fundraiser to help Ashton and his family. Previously, a family friend Shay Smith walked up Roseberry Topping ten times, raising over £1,000. 

Parents Bradley and Demi, alongside family and friends, will be walking around Durham River, through Maiden Castle, and around Baths Bridge on Sunday, September 18, departing at 11am. 

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