Social media trolls have targeted the parents of brave four-year-old cancer-fighter Charlie Procter.
Amber Schofield and Ben Procter, from Church, spoke about their torment on The Jeremy Kyle Show as they tried to raise awareness and funding for his life-saving treatment.
Charlie is currently in remission from liver cancer following successful surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital but still has several tumours in each of his lungs.
Appearing on the ITV show, Amber and Ben revealed the ‘utterly disgusting’ social media posts they received when they posted about Charlie’s condition online.
One message said: “Stop trying to guilt trip people with this it’s sick.”
Another wrote: “People try to use this to make people feel bad and it’s sick. This child has a problem and they’re using him to get money.”
When another wrote “I wish my son had cancer”, Amber replied by posting: “Do you? Do you really? Sit and think what you just said?
"My baby is dying and I have to watch him die in front of my eyes. Why can’t you respect that? Do you have emotions?”
Jeremy Kyle angrily commented: “I don’t know what the world thinks. People who write stuff like that, it’s utterly, utterly disgusting.”
The TV presenter praised the family’s bravery and Charlie’s ‘extraordinary spirit’.
He said: “He’s an amazing little boy. I don’t even know how you sit here because I find these stories difficult and I probably won’t do it justice.
“You can hear him giggling now. His spirit is extraordinary.
“Why is it that the kids and the people on this show who get the worst hand of cards are the ones that don’t moan because he’s amazing?”
Kyle also joked with Accrington Stanley-mad Charlie about his love for the club.
He said: “I know you’ve been through a lot but when I read this particular thing about you my sympathy went straight through the roof. You support Accrington Stanley Football Club.”
Stanley mascot Winstanley then appeared with four free season tickets for the family along with a signed football and scarf.
Speaking of their daily agony over Charlie’s illness, Amber said: “We had never seen a child with cancer. We never knew. We were oblivious to cancer.
“We’re not doctors and we wish we were. We wish we knew a cure.
“We can’t take him out to places in case of infection. It’s just hospital visits and then back home.
“Every day is a bonus. He understands he’s got a monster in his belly.
Ben added: “Life doesn’t seem fun any more. Before he was diagnosed it was ace. It’s just about living.
“You just have to get on with it for him and for everybody else in the family.”
Charlie now has three operations left to remove the tumours in his lungs, at a cost of about £250,000 and so far the family have raised just over £110,000.