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Sudbury schoolboy rallies community behind friend with leukaemia to raise more than £4,000





The Sudbury community has rallied around a young boy battling cancer, with a fund-raising drive by his best friend’s attracting more than £4,000.

Riley Richardson is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia, having been diagnosed just one day before starting as a pupil at Thomas Gainsborough School last year.

The 12-year-old must now visit hospital regularly for treatment, while his mum, Becky, has had to stop working to care for him.

Thomas Gainsborough School pupil Charlie Crawford, right, set up a fundraising page to help his best friend Riley Richardson. Picture: Contributed
Thomas Gainsborough School pupil Charlie Crawford, right, set up a fundraising page to help his best friend Riley Richardson. Picture: Contributed

To support them, Riley’s best friend, Charlie Crawford, was inspired to set up an online donations appeal on New Year’s Day.

The two families are close, as the boys’ mums and young brothers are also best friends, and Charlie explained they wanted to do all they could to help.

“I miss my best friend being at school with me so much, but I am so proud of how he is overcoming this awful illness,” he said.

“Despite him being in pain, he continues to smile and act like it’s a normal day when we play games together.”

Charlie’s mum, Vicki, told SuffolkNews that, when they set up the appeal on Go Fund Me, their initial goal had been to raise £500.

Within the space of 24 hours, this target was smashed, and the total now stands at £4,440.

“When Charlie found out his best friend wasn’t well, he felt so helpless,” said Vicki. “We decided to set up a Go Fund Me page, to do what we could to help them with bills and fuel costs.

“The money will help them get through the next few months. It’s one less thing for Becky to think about, and she can focus on helping Riley.

“We’re completely blown away by the local community. We set the target and thought that anything more would be a bonus, but people who are complete strangers have donated, which is just amazing.

“It restores your faith in humanity. Even now, people are spreading the word. Literally, every pound will make such a difference to them.”

To donate to the cause, go to www.gofundme.com/f/m5xcn-help-my-ill-friend.