Friends and family are rallying round to help an eight-year-old schoolboy who is fighting cancer.

Ethan Wilson, a pupil at Springfield Primary School, Earby, was recently diagnosed with leukaemia - cancer of the blood.

The illness was spotted by a doctor at Airedale Hospital after Ethan had suffered enlarged glands in his neck and a swollen foot.

“He had earlier been to the family doctor and hospital in Burnley, but there didn’t seem to be anything to worry about.

“When his foot became swollen we were told to take him to Airedale and fortunately were seen by a doctor who had been working on the children's cancer unit in Leeds and he realised it could be more serious,” said Ethan’s mum Lisa.

“Ethan was soon at the Leeds Unit and they confirmed that it was leukaemia. We were in shock for the first couple of days, but the staff and all our family and friends have been marvellous.

“The support we have been given is amazing,” she said.

Ethan now faces a programme of treatment which could last three years and he started a course of chemotherapy within days of being diagnosed with the illness.

His father, Edward, is a bus driver with Skipton-based Pennine Motors which has also supported the family. Ethan has a twin sister, Kaili, and older brother Bailey, 12, who is a pupil at West Craven Technology College in Barnoldswick.

“Everybody in the community and at the schools has given us fantastic support and we can't thank them enough,” Lisa said.

As a thank you to the Yorkshire-based children's cancer support group Candlelighters, Lisa is to have her head shaved to raise money for the charity at an event at Earby Cricket Club next Saturday, November 17.

“The Candlelighters charity do fantastic work at the hospital and have been very good to us - helping to raise money is the least I can do,” she said.

Ethan returned to his home in Colne Road, Earby, last Tuesday, after his first course of treatment, but faces further visits to hospital in the months and years to come.