EastEnders legend Jake Wood has launched an urgent appeal after his friend's young child passed away from cancer.

Wood, who is best known for playing Max Branning in the BBC One soap, has urged that more money needs to go towards research for "this awful disease".

It comes after Jake's friend Ceri tragically lost his son Hugh on 18 September following the young lad's battle with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.

Taking to Instagram, Jake posted a link to a fundraiser that helps a children's cancer charity called Alice's Arc.

The Just Giving fundraiser, which is called 'In Memory of Hugh Menai-Davis', has already raised over £12,000 [at the time of writing].

Sharing a post which showed a sweet snap of Hugh, Jake penned: "Please help if you can. My friend @ceridavis83 lost his son Hugh to this awful disease and is now fundraising in his name. Thank you.

"This is Hugh Menai-Davis. He lost his life to rhabdomyosarcoma on Saturday 18th September, having being diagnosed 11 months before.

"He had recently relapsed and just started his first cycle of VIT chemotherapy. He passed away suddenly. His parents are now fundraising in Hugh’s name for Alice’s Arc.

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"His Dad is running the London Marathon on Sunday 2nd October 2021 for Hugh. They have already raised over £6K in 48 hours."

Jake then made an emotional plea against the heartbreaking deaths of young children from cancer, declaring that things "must change".

"You may have noticed that three children died last weekend from rhabdomyosarcoma in the UK. This has been happening for years. How much longer must this go on?

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"How many young children must lose their lives to this aggressive cancer? How many more families will have to live with this devastating loss for the rest of their lives? IT MUST CHANGE. More investment into research has to be made."

You can donate to the cause here.

Jake first joined EastEnders in 1990 where he played the role of Jackson.

He was later cast in the regular role of Max Branning, which he played from June 2006 until earlier this year.

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