A BRAVE Chorley toddler battling a rare form of cancer is facing Christmas away from home.
Corey Ashcroft, two, was the inspiration behind an appeal in his name which saw more than £200,000 raised in less than 12 weeks to fund the final stage of his treatment in America.
The youngster, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Neuroblastoma in April, is currently being treated in isolation at Manchester Children’s Hospital after undergoing a stem cell transplant to prepare him for his trip to the states.
The treatment is the second of three phases which need to be completed within 100 days before he can fly out with his family to Philadelphia and they are expected to leave in December.
It means that they will have to spend Christmas and the next six months away from family and friends, but Corey’s mum Joanna, from Eccleston, believes it is a small sacrifice to give their young son the best chance.
She said: “We are on day 19 of the 100 now and it’s a waiting game for us to get Corey home again. He has already had a high-dose of chemotherapy and the stem cell treatment, but he still needs to have radiotherapy too.
“We need to be in America for him to start the immunotherapy treatment by day 100 - which takes us until the middle of December.
“It is strange, but because we have been so worried about Corey and focusing on his treatment and the appeal, we haven’t even thought about the logistics of us being in America.
“In the first instance I’ll take Corey with my husband Craig and older son Kian and we’ll be together for Christmas, but we’ll be away from family and friends.
“We don’t know what will happen after that as Kian will have to come back for school, but the most important thing is that Corey gets the treatment which will give him a better chance at a long and happy life.”
The treatment, which is not available in the UK, has been proven to significantly improve the chances of patients not relapsing.
Joanna added: “Corey has been in isolation for weeks now and he’s desperate to get outside and get some fresh air and keeps asking to come home, but he’s doing really well.
“He’s having a problem tolerating food, but as soon as we can sort that then we’ll be able to get him home.
“We are still amazed at how fast we were able to raise the money and can’t thank everyone enough who helped.”
The fund has now topped the £240,000 mark and a celebration event has been planned for Friday at Park Hall and includes performances by Kevin Simm from Liberty X and illusionist.
Tickets are still available for £10 at www.coreyashcroft.co.uk