Double joy for battling tot

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Corey Ashcroft, playing in the garden at home in Eccleston
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Corey Ashcroft, playing in the garden at home in Eccleston

The family of a battling tot are celebrating a double dose of joy after tests revealed he has won his cancer battle - and his mum is pregnant with a baby girl.

Corey Ashcroft, three, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer, in April last year.

Campaigners smashed a £250,000 target to send him to America for treatment and medics confirmed in February the cancer was in remission.

He still underwent oxygen and chemotherapy treatment back in the UK.

But after an agonising wait, his family have now been told the final crucial round of tests had come back all clear.

And today, beaming mum Joanna revealed she is now pregnant with her third child.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“Corey is still going to have a close eye on him and we are still apprehensive about the future, however it’s fantastic news that he has responded so well to treatment and he is in remission.

“He is full of energy and back to his normal self, and we touch wood he stays like that.”

Since returning home after his five-month stint at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Corey took his final chemotherapy tablets and oxygen therapy to help kill off any stray cancer cells.

Corey then underwent MRI scans and bone marrow tests at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and the family faced an anxious wait for the results.

Joanna said: “Corey had his final treatment scans at Manchester on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then it was unfortunate that it was Bank Holiday weekend so we had a very long wait.

“The wait for the scan results was awful.

“We were just so relieved when the call came through. We were shaking when the doctor said we couldn’t have asked for better results.”

Corey will continue to have urine tests every three months to check on his progress.

Joanna, who is married to Craig and also has five-year-old son Kian, has thanked well-wishers and fundraisers who has helped them along the way.

She said: “Corey has captured the hearts of so many people and we have had such an amazing amount of support.

“The treatment has been successful and that is a real cause for celebration. We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support.

“It has been a horrible year but we have got him there.”

And the celebrations will continue as Joanna has revealed she is now 16 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.

Joanna, of Sagar Street, Eccleston, said: “We’re over the moon. I have two little boys so to have a girl is lovely.

“It was a massive surprise and it’s nice to have some new news to focus on.

“The boys came to the scan when we found out it was a little girl. They are really excited.”

Joanna says she hopes fundraising for the cause will continue despite the news Corey is on the road to recovery.

She said: “We are so grateful for all the people who have fundraised and hope this carries on. If Corey doesn’t need it, then there are other children out there who will.”