A youngster who sparked a major fundraising campaign to send him to America for life-saving treatment after he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer has celebrated his fifth birthday.
Corey Ashcroft, of Eccleston, was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in April 2011, after his mum Joanna noticed his stomach felt unusually firm.
Brave Corey had to undergo months of gruelling treatment and his family launched a fundraising campaign to send him to America, as treatment for neuroblastoma is more advanced there.
The community rallied around to raise the £300,000 needed and Corey and his family spent months in the USA while he underwent treatment.
Corey is doing well following the treatment and regular tests show the cancer has not returned, although his parents, Joanna and Craig, say they constantly live in fear.
However, Corey himself is living life to the full and celebrated his fifth birthday on Sunday with a party.
Joanna said: “Corey has started school at Eccleston St Mary’s and he has lots of friends and is really
“In April, it will be two years since the end of Corey’s treatment and that will be a huge milestone.
“With neuroblastoma, if the disease does come back, it is usually in the first two years following treatment.
“Corey underwent a lot of chemotherapy during his treatment and the high toxicity of the treatment led to hearing loss so he now has to wear high-frequency hearing aids.
“However, he has adapted well and is just a normal little boy who enjoys life.
“After everything Corey has been through, it is lovely to see him enjoy a normal childhood.”
Corey has an older brother Kian, seven, and a sister Zara, who turned one in November, and he loves playing with them as well as his friends.
Joanna said: “Craig and I live with the fear of the cancer returning, but for the children, life is now as normal.
“Corey’s personality has really come to the fore and he is fun-loving, happy, affectionate and fun to be around.”