AFTER hearing how their friend Alex was fighting leukaemia, nine of his schoolmates – and their dads – decided to shave their heads to thank the hospital where he is having treatment.

Five-year-old Federation of St Mary's pupil Alex was diagnosed with the blood cancer in April. His friends were devastated by the news, but along with their families, they decided to do a head shave to raise funds to thank Alder Hey Children's Hospital staff for their hard work.

Last week that took place in the Newton-le-Willows School hall, where year 1 pupils and friends Joshua Dennis, Aaron Stansfield, Mckenzie Kelly, Conor Underhill, Alex Kean, Arlo James, Jake Mistry, Jack Byrne, Leo Weston got their heads shaved in support of their fighting friend Alex in front of the entire staff and children in the Infants.

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Their dads Alan Severs, James McGee, James Tuck, Gareth James, Norman Kean and Paul Stansfield also got their heads shaved – and some beards too.

Even Ollie the Elephant from Alder Hey came down to cheer them on.

After the event, Alex's parents Mike and Michelle, said: "Overwhelmed is a word used very frequently, but nothing more appropriately describes how our family have felt as a result of the love and support we've received from St Mary's and the community since Alex was diagnosed with leukaemia on April 18.

"From the 'get well soon' artwork created by every student in year one and the presents Alex received from his class and the Parent Governors, to the quite incredible charity event organised by Carly James with Alder Hey and the school, Alex has benefitted from such incredible support.

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"Although Alex wasn't well enough to attend the charity event, his face lit up when he saw the photos and videos of his friends displaying such solidarity in having their hair shaved.

"We were awestruck by the parents' participation, several of whom we'd not had the fortune to meet prior to now.

"Alex has a long three-year journey to beat this, though it's a journey he's begun with such confidence, bravery and positivity, and the love, wishes and prayers you've continued to share have been so important for us all since Alex's leukaemia was diagnosed.

"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and please continue to hold Alex in your thoughts and prayers."

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NOTE: Alex is not pictured in the photographs above