AT only three years old, Lucas Thorpe has been through more challenges than most people will go through in their lifetime.
Now, after twice being told that her son would not live, his mother Jodie is preparing to watch him go to school — something she never thought she would see.
When Lucas was aged one he was diagnosed with a rare bladder cancer — rhabdomyosarcoma — which affects 60 people each year.
In 2011, his family, who live in Atherton, flew him to Florida in the United States to undergo a specialist proton therapy treatment that sends atoms into the tumour.
But before he could embark on the five-week treatment, little Lucas developed septicaemia and pneumonia at the same time, leaving his life hanging in the balance.
Jodie, aged 30, said: “He went into intensive care and on Christmas Eve we were told that he wouldn’t make it through the night. We were then told he would be brain damaged, but he wasn’t. The doctors over there were baffled by him.”
The septicaemia did, however, cause Lucas to lose most of his right foot and his fingertips, but Jodie revealed that he could have lost a lot more.
She said: “The doctors wanted to amputate his left arm, left leg, right hand and right foot, but we refused. We wanted to see what treatment could do for him.”
The toddler is now running around the house, play-fighting with his brother, Jordan, aged 10, and sister Molly, aged six, and this week he will be putting on his new uniform and starting life at St George’s Central Primary School in Tyldesley.
Jodie said she may well get emotional when she waves Lucas off at the school gates, adding: “We never thought we would get to this point, so there is a chance I will be a bit of an emotional wreck.”
Jodie is now going to use the experience she has gained caring for her son by embarking on a college course in nursing.
She said: “I am really looking forward to it, and the experience I have gained with him will help me with both the medical and emotional side of nursing.”
Lucas will have been clear of cancer for two years in May, but parents Jodie and Dale, aged 29, are aware that the disease could return in other parts of his body, something they have to be prepared for.
Jodie said: “Everything that the doctors have expected him to do, he has done the opposite.
“How he deals with it makes it easier for us — they said he wouldn’t walk without a prosthetic and could need a wheelchair.
“No one can believe it when they see him running around and full of energy — it’s amazing.”