Footballing legend, Alan Shearer and the characters of Star Wars, were on the wards of the Great North Children's to launch an annual charity run which funds research into childhood cancers.
The Children's Cancer run, organised by the North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund (NECCR) is now in its 34th year.
The run, which will be held at Newcastle Racecourse on Sunday 15 May, was officially opened for entries today as Alan, a Stormtrooper and a Tie Pilot, visited the children's cancer ward to greet some of the children currently receiving treatment.
The run offers 5 mile, 3 mile and 'mini mile' cross country tracks and is one of the largest single charity run events in Europe.
Former patient, three-year-old Joseph Fawcett also attended the launch with his father Alex.
The Fawcett family are fundraising for the NECCR throughout 2016, hoping to raise £1000- £11,000 for each round of chemotherapy little Joseph had to endure after he was diagnosed with an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT) aged just eight months.
The Children's Cancer Run is offering a discounted entry rate of £33 for families of two adults and up to three children.
The event is suitable for all ages and abilities, and participants can enter as a single runner, a brand new team, as part of an existing team, or with their school.
Every penny raised goes towards the work of the NECCR which improves the lives of children with cancer.
In May 2015, the Run raised over £189,000 for the NECCR, adding to the £5 million which has already been raised by Children's Cancer runners over the years.
For more details about the event, visit: www.childrenscancerrun.co.uk