The memory of a “courageous, kind and loving” little boy is being kept alive thanks to a new children’s book written in support of the place he spent his final moments – Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Lex Strong, from Doncaster, battled a rare type of cancer called neuroblastoma for three years, always facing his illness with dignity  and courage. He passed away at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in 2013, just weeks before what would have been his eighth birthday.

Now family friend, published author and South Yorkshire Literacy Champion Jane Keightley has written an educational adventure story called ‘Blast off to Planet Fun!’ and will be donating a percentage of the profits to the charity.

For Lex’s mum Maxine Strong, who has helped raised tens of thousands of pounds for Bluebell Wood since saying goodbye to her little boy, it’s a moving tribute.

“Anything that can keep Lex’s memory alive is very important to us,” she said.

“I’m very proud and thankful that there’s a tribute to Lex in the book. What Jane does is just incredible and my daughter Olivia and I can’t wait to see the book in print.”

Lex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on Christmas Eve when he was just four years old, but always retained his mischievous sense of humour.

“Lex was just an amazing, incredible little boy,” said Maxine.

“He had to miss a lot of school through his treatment but had so many friends and was so loving, kind, funny and intelligent.

“In the month before he passed away, we were referred to Bluebell Wood and it really was the best thing that could possibly have happened to us under the circumstances.

“Lex and Olivia were so well looked after by the team at the hospice and it meant I could concentrate on being Lex’s mum after three years as his carer.

“The staff just took over everything, and we were able to stay for ten days after he passed away. It was absolutely incredible to have that time together to adapt to what had happened.

“We would never have had that opportunity anywhere else so Bluebell Wood gave us something that no one else possibly could.

“I will always have a huge amount of gratitude to Bluebell Wood  - it really is an amazing place.”

Jane Keightley, from Doncaster, came up with the idea for ‘Blast off to Planet Fun!’ after wondering what her puppy dreamt about as he happily snored away.

The book follows the adventures of a French Bulldog, Smudge, who embarks on an intergalactic quest to the titular Planet Fun. As well as being lots of fun, the book aims to teach curious young minds about our solar system.

 “It really is a privilege to be able to donate a percentage of all profits in recognition of the wonderful work Bluebell Wood does with families of poorly children,” said Jane.

“My friend Maxine and her family experienced outstanding care and I was fortunate enough to visit Lex the day after he passed to say goodbye. I was incredibly impressed with the facilities available and genuine compassion shown by all the staff.”

‘Blast off to Planet Fun!’ is available here and at Waterstones, Amazon and other book retailers.

Madeleine Oldale, Head of Communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “First of all we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to Maxine and Jane for their kind words and ongoing support.

“It was our privilege to be there for Lex and his family in those heartbreaking final moments and it’s a real honour to be a part of something that helps to keep his memory alive.

“As well as being a wonderful tribute to Lex, every copy of ‘Blast off to Planet Fun!’ sold will help us be there for other families going through the most difficult times imaginable.”