A brave young cancer patient who has travelled to the US for proton beam therapy with her family has begun her treatment.
Four-year-old Molly Fleming, from Beech Hill, has had two courses of the state-of-the-art treatment and is doing well.
She has ependymoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, and is currently part way through a stint of around nine weeks in Jacksonville in Florida having the treatment.
She is staying Stateside with her parents Paul Fleming and Clare Grundy and her three siblings; five-year-old Harley, Thomas, three, and the youngest addition to the family Jacob.
The cancer was spotted on a biopsy at Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital following an operation to remove a tumour.
In total Molly will receive treatment over a six-week period, with daily attendance at the hospital Monday to Friday during that time.
The Beech Hill community has rallied round to help the family in their hour of need, raising more than £5,000 so they can all stay together in the USA while Molly is in hospital having the proton beam therapy.
Throughout their ordeal they have been particularly supported by local ward representative Coun Phyll Cullen and Chris Tolley, who runs the community-led pub the Wellfield Hotel.
Chris put on a full day of fund-raising activities before Molly flew to America with her family, bringing in more than £1,700.
Speaking before they boarded the plane, grateful dad Paul said: “We’ve been overwhelmed. We’re really grateful for all the help and donations and we’re a bit lost for words.”
Coun Cullen, who represents Wigan West ward in the council chamber, previously said; “The word cancer still really hits home and even more so when it’s a young child.
“A little girl having to go through that is dreadful. I’m pulling out all the stops for Molly.”
Molly’s family has set a target of getting her well enough for her first day of primary school in September.
However, the Observer understands the family has suffered another setback as Molly’s grandfather James Fleming is currently in Wigan Infirmary receiving treatment for cancer.