Wallsend school children showered in paint in 'emotional' colour run for sick classmate

Ellis Lake was diagnosed Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder, last October. Credit: Handout

School children have taken part in a colour run to raise money for a charity set up in the name of their sick classmate.

Ellis Lake, from Wallsend in Newcastle, was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) in October 2022.

The seven-year-old, who is a pupil at Hadrian Park Primary School, has since been undergoing treatment.

MLD is a rare genetic disorder that causes fatty substances to build up in cells, particularly in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. 

Ellis now has a long process of intensive rehab following the end of his treatment. Credit: Handout

His family have set up a charity called The Ellis Lake Foundation, where they intend to support parents and decorate the children’s ward.

Ellis' classmates have joined in with the fundraising to show their support.

They took part in a colour run, along with parents and teachers, on Friday 30 June.

Jade Martin, Ellis' headteacher, said: "We are blown away by the generosity of our school community. 

Ellis's school mates organised a colour run to raise money for his charity. Credit: Handout

"Emotionally, residents lined the streets with love and support, covering us in colours. This was such an inspirational event, which will go down in history.

"Ellis himself led the walk,  the local residents lined the streets with cheer, further proof that not all heroes wear capes."

Following his diagnosis last year, Ellis spent a week in Manchester Children’s Hospital last December, when his stem cells were collected and transported to Milan for gene modification.

This treatment was approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in February 2022.

In January 2023 Ellis relocated to Manchester and after a round of chemo, Ellis had his ownmodified stem cells transplanted back into his body.

He was transferred back to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle in March and shortly after he was able to ring the end of treatment bell.

He now has a long process of intensive rehab by the team at the RVI.

Ellis was able to ring the end of treatment bell last March. Credit: Handout

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