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Heartache for parents as brave Charlie Procter's liver cancer returns

His parents are desperate for donations to help fund specialist treatment in the US

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Amber Schofield, Ben Procter with children Jessica and Charlie Procter

The heartbroken parents of a brave young cancer patient have stepped up fundraising as expensive specialist treatment in America appears to offer his last hope.

Charlie Procter, from Church, has a rare form of cancer only found in young children, Hepatoblastoma.

While the disease, first diagnosed in February 2016, has remained in the five-year-old’s lungs, his parents, who look after Charlie full-time, believed the liver tumours had cleared.

Charlie’s mum Amber Schofield said she and his dad Ben had been led to believe this was the case by Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital doctors - but claim they later discovered no scans had been taken since December 2017. Charlie has now been given a ‘poor prognosis’ as his liver contains several small tumours, making an operation impossible.

The news came as a huge shock to the couple, who live with Charlie and two-year-old daughter Jessica on Lion Street.

They are now pinning their hopes on specialist treatment in the United States, but say they need to raise around £300,000.

Amber, 24, said: “Charlie hasn’t much time left. If this is left untreated it will kill him. He can’t have surgery because it’s too hard to remove the tumours.

“He would need a liver transplant but he can’t because they say the cancer will spread. We’ve not really had time to adapt or cope. We thought he had no tumours [in his liver] and within a week we find out his life is in danger. It’s heartbreaking.”

Charlie, a pupil at St Andrew’s primary in Oswaldtwistle, has also developed a rash after the latest chemotherapy.

Amber added: “They are suspecting the rash is a reaction to Charlie’s chemo.

“However, if he’s given another round and he reacts again like this then it potentially could kill him.

“We’ve been left with no choice but to stop treatment. He can’t die, he just can’t. How can I never have his cuddles and never hold his hand again? I will literally do anything and everything to save him.”

With more than £100,000 already raised by campaigners in the last two years, Charlie’s parents say they are again counting on the generosity of strangers.

Amber says she and Ben, 28, are now hoping to get Charlie specialist treatment in the States with Dr James Geller at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

She said: “The estimated cost of the treatment, scans, chemo will be around £300,000, but likely to be more. We want to fly out and hope that we can start treatment while donations come in. I beg you all to keep raising money, everyone is being so generous and we are getting so many donations.

“If he doesn’t get his chance in Cincinnati he won’t have a chance at all, he won’t be here.”

Before the latest blow, Amber said her son had gained weight and was described as being ‘all-round fun’.

She said: “He loved school, some days he would cry and moan because he wanted to stay there.

“He loved football, and enjoyed anything put in front of him.”

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Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital said they are continuing to support the family during Charlie’s ongoing care and treatment and would be very happy to meet with them to discuss any concerns.

To fundraise, contact the family through the ‘Charlie’s Chapter’ page on Facebook.