We need help to save our poorly son’s life

Corey Ashcroft, two, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer.
Corey Ashcroft, two, who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer.

A devastated couple are appealing for help to send their son to America to try and save his life.

Corey Ashcroft, two, of Eccleston, near Chorley, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer – neuroblastoma –in April this year after his mum noticed his stomach felt firm and took him to the doctor.

Corey is undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment and his parents Joanne and Craig have launched a crusade to raise £250,000 to fund the last stage of Corey’s treatment in America to significantly improve his chances of not relapsing.

Mum Joanne, 32, said: “Corey has always been so healthy, active and well, so the diagnosis was a complete shock.

“I was bathing him when I noticed his stomach felt firm so I took him to our GP who noticed Corey was pale around the lips and sent him to Royal Preston Hospital. Tests showed Corey’s liver was enlarged and that he was anaemic and an ultrasound was carried out.

“The sonographer went deathly quiet as he was doing the scan and we were later told Corey had a tumour in his abdomen. It was devastating and we couldn’t believe it as he seemed so well and there were no symptoms.”

Corey was sent to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where investigations revealed he had Stage IV neuroblastoma, an advanced and aggressive form of cancer which mostly affects children under the age of five.

He is undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment and his parents Joanne and Craig have launched a crusade to raise £250,000 to fund the last stage of Corey’s treatment in America to significantly improve his chances of not relapsing.

Corey’s treatment plan means he faces hospitalisation for 12 months and his treatment will be in five different stages with risk of infection and side effects.

The final stage of his treatment will be immunotherapy and Joanne and Craig want this carried out at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in America.

Joanne said: “Extensive research has shown us that Corey would have an improved chance of survival with the treatment offered in America as opposed to the randomised trial offered in the UK.”

The bombshell diagnosis was the second time the family’s world had been turned upside down as Corey’s five-year-old brother Kian was born with a congenital heart defect and had to have lifesaving open heart surgery when he was just 10 days old. Kian is now fully recovered.

Joanne, a domestic energy assessor, said: “We felt absolutely shattered yet again. After everything we went through with Kian, we could not believe Corey now had a life threatening condition.

“We have been told there is no link between the two conditions and that we have just been extremely unlucky. The chances of having two children with these different conditions are one in 8.4m.”

To donate, visit: www.coreyashcroft.co.uk.