DANCING in her father’s arms, wearing a big smile and a party dress, it is easy to forget Katie Dodd is fighting a rare form of cancer.

The four-year-old danced the afternoon away in her wheelchair with dad Lee Dodd and her friends at a fundraising event for the Katie Dodd Appeal, to cover the cost of adapting the family home for her wheelchair and allow her parents to take unpaid leave from work when she undergoes potentially lifesaving treatment in America.

Nearly 200 people attended the very special Christmas party at Farnworth Masonic Hall in Francis Street — and raised nearly £2,000 for the fund.

Katie’s family and friends went along, including her headteacher, David Glyn- Jones, from Highfield Primary School, and other staff members and their children.

The youngster’s proud mum, Rebecca Dodd, said: “We thought we would struggle to sell tickets but we sold nearly 200.

Christmas is a financially difficult time of year so it’s amazing that so many people came. We have had lots of positive messages on our website. I think people think it’s really sad and they are thankful it’s not them going through it and I would be to.”

Katie had only spent seven days in reception class when her parents, who live in Farnworth, received the devastating news that she had a tumour on her spine, leaving her paralysed. She was later diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a form of cancer.

Life-changing Proton Beam Therapy treatment in America has been funded by the NHS and will not cause any harm to her body, unlike radiotherapy which can sometimes impact on the heart and lungs.

Santa Claus visited the family a day early, on Christmas Eve, as Katie, who is undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, was expected to be “under the weather” on Christmas Day following more treatment.

The family’s next big fundraiser will be have an American dream theme and will take place at Bolton’s Holiday Inn on Saturday, April 20.

Anyone interested in donating to Katie’s cause can visit katiedodd appeal.co.uk