Five-year-old gears up for Santa run

A five-year-old boy battling back from leukaemia will be donning a Santa suit next month to take part in a fun run.

Jack Smith, from Heartsease, will be taking part in the Norwich Santa Run with his family, including his 84-year-old great grandmother.

The youngster, who is in the reception class at Heartsease Primary School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2008, just weeks before his third birthday.

Since then he has been battling the cancer with bouts of chemotherapy and, despite still facing another year of treatment, he is now in remission.

Jack, from Redfern Road, and his family have been helped through his illness by children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent and they are hoping to give something back by taking part in the annual Norwich Santa Run at noon on Sunday, December 5, at Eaton Park.

Last year saw more than 700 santas taking part in the 2k fun run and this year the charity is hoping that even more will take part.

Jack's mum Gayle Larkman, 39, said: 'Jack's doing fantastically well and though he still has to go to hospital for clinics, he had not needed to be admitted to hospital through illness this year.

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'He's in remission but has to have chemotherapy every day, and another sort weekly, and another monthly.'

Ms Larkman said that although the family now needed less help from CLIC Sargent, earlier this year the charity helped Jack to enjoy a break a Centre Parcs with his dad and brother.

She said: 'I hope lots of people will do the run as it's for a fantastic cause.'

CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical and emotional support for children and young people with cancer, and their families, from the point of diagnosis. All proceeds from the santa run will help CLIC Sargent provide vital services, including nurses and care professionals in hospital, grants to help families meet extra costs and free 'Home from Home' accommodation close to the main children's cancer centres.

Registration is �10 for adults and �5 for children who are 12 or under, and includes a free Santa suit and medal. The charity also asks runners to raise a minimum of �25 sponsorship. Dogs, on a lead, are welcome to take part too.

For more information, call 01284 829090 or email or text your details to 'SANTA' on 07876 582650.

Has your family been helped by CLIC Sargent? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email