Brave Luke thanks his friends

COURAGEOUS Luke Payne has inspired so many people to help him in his battle against cancer that now his friends have taken up the challenge.Luke, ten, of Collingwood Road, Woodbridge, was diagnosed with cancer of the spine nearly two years ago and has had to undergo bone grafts and missed school in his fight to beat the tumour.

COURAGEOUS Luke Payne has inspired so many people to help him in his battle against cancer that now his friends have taken up the challenge.

Luke, ten, of Collingwood Road, Woodbridge, was diagnosed with cancer of the spine nearly two years ago and has had to undergo bone grafts and missed school in his fight to beat the tumour.

Now his life-long friends Richard Mann, 12, and his sister Rachael Mann, nine, have helped raise money for the Sargent Cancer Care for Children.

"Me and my friend Bryce Lovett cycled 40 miles from Framlingham to Aldeburgh. It took us four hours and we planned it ourselves. My sister also did a sponsored horse ride and rode 12 miles. We managed to raise £170 between us. It was very tiring but we were ready for it and knew how long it would take.


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"We wanted to help because we have known Luke for so long and our mums have been friends for years and we just wanted to do something for him," said Richard, of Fiddlers Hall, Cransford, near Woodbridge.

Luke's mum Jo Payne said she was touched by their efforts to help her son.

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Jo herself abseiled down the side of the maternity building at Ipswich Hospital to raise money for the charity.

"I have been friends with Richard and Rachael's mum since we were at school and when they read about Luke's stepfather running the marathon to raise money they wanted to help as well.

"I was over the moon and it meant a lot to Luke as well. They organised everything themselves. They have grown up together and are great friends. I have been really touched by everybody and how generous they have been. His school have raised money for the charity and everyone has been great," she said.

Luke is going back in to hospital next week but Jo said he is doing well and is as "bright as a button".

"We just carry on as normally as possible and try not to let this stop Luke doing the things he loves," she added.

Luke's stepfather Richard King ran the London Marathon yesterday to raise money for the charity.

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