A youngster who sparked a major fundraising campaign to send him to America for lifesaving treatment after he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer will be celebrating his fifth birthday tomorrow.
Corey Ashcroft, of Eccleston, near Chorley, was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in April 2011 after his mum Joanna noticed his stomach felt unusually firm.
Corey had to undergo months of gruelling treatment and his family launched a campaign to send him to America as treatment for neuroblastoma is more advanced there.
Evening Post readers and the community rallied around raised the £300,000 needed to fund Corey’s treatment and the little lad and his family spent months in the USA while he underwent the treatment.
Corey is doing really 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 as well as celebrating his fifth birthday, he is fast approaching two years since the end of his treatment.
Mum Joanna said: “Corey has started school at Eccleston St Mary’s and he has lots of friends and is really enjoying it.
“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.
“The school have been very supportive and Corey does not feel he is any different from other children.
“Corey is delighted at turning five and he will be having a birthday party at Puddletown Pirates with his friends.”