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Action all the way for plucky pair; Sky-high fun for kids.

Byline: SARAH SCOTT

BROUGHT together through community support, children Richard Hunter and Bailey Cooper were treated to a day of high-speed action thanks to kind-hearted supporters.

The families of two-year-old meningitis survivor Richard and fouryear-old bone marrow transplant patient Bailey were brought together by staff at the Asda stores in Washington and Gateshead, which support both youngsters. Yesterday, both Richard, of Benwell in Newcastle, and Bailey, of Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, were in awe after they were treated to an afternoon at Newcastle Airport checking out police helicopters, police cars and the airport's own fire engine.

The day was set up by Northumbria Police detective Ian Anderson, who heard about little Richard losing his legs and right arm after contracting meningitis when he was just 11 months old in June 2010.

He contacted Chris Todd, deputy unit executive officer at the Air Support Unit, who then put it into action.

Chris said: "It's not something we do all the time but we thought we would push the boat, or aircraft, out for the boys.

"It is one of those things they will remember and it is good to support families going through something difficult."

Richard was joined by his twin brother Jayden, grandparents Richard Hunter and Maureen Armstrong and dad, also Richard Hunter.

Maureen, 47, said: "It is lovely that the boys get to do this and that it is the community coming together to help them get to do it."

The day was a complete surprise for Bailey, who is due to undergo a bone marrow transplant within two weeks after being diagnosed with leukaemia for a second time, as he did not realise what he would be doing until he arrived with mum Karly Morris.

"It is just amazing that others will do things like this for families like us.

"He has always loved transport and the emergency services," said Karly. "This is a dream come true for Bailey."

CAPTION(S):

HEAVEN Bailey Cooper, with police air observer Jayne Kidd JOY Richard Hunter and his grandfather Richard Hunter at the police helicopter stationed at Newcastle Airport.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 24, 2012
Words:348
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