BRAVE Katie Dodd’s family are packing their bags ready for her life-changing treatment in the USA.

Katie, aged four, is in the middle of treatment for a cancerous tumour on her spine, which has left her unable to walk.

The Farnworth youngster has already had a successful operation to remove metal plates in her spine in preparation for proton beam therapy — an advanced form of radiotherapy.

Now her parents, Lee and Rebecca, say Katie is ready for the trip to the USA today, as is her big brother Joseph, who celebrated his ninth birthday last Saturday.

To mark his special day before they left, Joseph had a Lazer Quest party at the Trafford Centre — complete with a Lazer Quest-themed cake.

The extravagant cake was made by Michelle O’Brian, who runs a cake and event planning business.

Joseph was nominated to win the cake of his dreams by his family for helping his little sister through her illness.

Mrs Dodd said: “We went to Pizza Hut afterwards and even Katie even managed to eat a couple of pieces of pizza. I was surprised because she’s not been able to eat anything during her chemotherapy.

“We’re really pleased as Katie’s surgery went well and she didn’t need to have the plates because her spine has started to fuse itself together. She was in some pain after the operation but it was a sign that she was getting some feeling back in her spine.”

The family will have to stay in the USA for eight to 10 weeks .

Family and friends are now planning their next fundraiser, which will have an American theme.

Katie’s American Dream will take place on April 20, at the Holiday Inn in Bolton.

So far the appeal has raised £15,000.

To donate to the appeal, visit