It is a photo that will lift the spirits of so many kind-hearted Express readers.
Six months after £30,000 was raised as part of the Express’ Give Charlie a Chance Appeal, Charlie Gibson Woolley, six, is finally on the long path to full recovery.
In early 2012, Charlie was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a serious form of children’s cancer.
His condition was so threatening, his mum, Sharon Woolley, contacted the Express in the hope of raising thousands of pounds to provide specialist life-saving treatment for her son.
Not only did readers respond, they did so in their droves, holding fund-raising events, sending cheques to Sharon’s home and texting donations from mobile phones to a charity account.
After completing a long course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, as Sharon explained: “It has been a long 18 months, but he is getting there.
“The amazing donations from readers have really helped. We will be able to fund his treatment and keep him progressing towards full health.”
Although Charlie’s body is clear of neuroblastoma cells, the cancer is unusual in that it can return anytime and requires holistic therapy to keep it at bay.
Using the money provided by so many kind benefactors, Sharon hopes to treat Charlie in two ways.
“First is hyperbaric therapy. We hope to buy a portable hyperbaric chamber, which I can sit in with him.
“It helps maximise his oxygen intake to improve his damaged cells. In a normal room our intake of oxygen is around 27 per cent but in the chamber it rises to 100 per cent.
“We’ve also arranged for a week-long course of hi-dose vitamin supplements at a London clinic. Again this is to improve his immune system, which has been so badly damaged by chemotherapy treatment.”
Although Charlie’s condition has improved, he is still unable to walk, a combination of chemotherapy and being bed-ridden for several months.
But Sharon hopes with intensive physiotherapy Charlie will return to Hall Park School, Lytham, later on this year.