A BRAVE schoolboy fighting a rare form of cancer is back home in Bolton after undergoing specialist treatment in America.

Connor Wood spent three months in Jacksonville, Florida undergoing proton beam therapy after being diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma just before Christmas.

The Ladybridge High School pupil, who celebrated his 15th birthday in the United States, and his family have said a huge thank you to the people of Bolton who helped make his stay as comfortable as possible while he underwent the gruelling treatment, by raising thousands of pounds for him as he underwent the intensive treatment.

The teenager was a fit and healthy youngster who enjoyed sports until he started feeling poorly in October.

Mum Shauna said: "The support and donations we received from the community was quite overwhelming. We are so thankful for all the message of support and the help given to us to keep things running over here and help while we were out in Florida.

"People helped ease some pressure of other worries.

"Around £11,000 was raised in all and because of that we were able to take Connor's sister with us as well."

The teenager stayed in hospital when he had chemotherapy treatment and was a day release patient while having the proton beam therapy over the 12 weeks.

Shauna said: "Connor has been so brave throughout his treatment, he was exhausted at times. When the chemotherapy and the PBT took place at the same time it was very hard for him."

Connor underwent an operation before he flew out to America on May 18 with his mother and sister Caitlin, aged seven, for the treatment, which was paid for the by the NHS as it is not yet available in this country.

His older brother, Ryan, aged 18, was unable to go because of his exams.

Proton beam therapy uses a precision high-energy beam of particles to destroy cancer cells and has better targeting and fewer side effects than traditional radiotherapy and the NHS sends people needing the treatment to the United States or Switzerland.

Shauna, who lives with her family in Deane, said: "There was some concern because the operation he had before he went over to America showed there were some live cells.

"Connor is undergoing a different form of chemotherapy now and it is just a case of keeping the treatment going and hoping for the best outcome. He has received the best possible treatment possible.

"Connor has been amazing throughout."

The teenager celebrated his 15th birthday while undergoing treatment, and fortunately he was not in hospital undergoing the treatment and was able to enjoy a trip out. And thanks to tickets provided by the hospital, he was able to enjoy family time going to the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios and Disney World when he was not in hospital.

Shauna said: "He really felt it when he couldn't go in the pool or the sea when we went to the beach but he enjoyed going to Orlando — he is a Star Wars fan.

"It was about making the best of a bad situation and about living everyday to the fullest."

Shauna added: "The staff at Wolfsons Hospital were fantastic and the staff here are amazing. The doctors in Florida will stay in touch with Christie to see how the treatment went and will be observing it."

Now back at home, Connor is relaxing after the treatment and is still undergoing chemotherapy at Manchester Royal Children's Hospital three days a week every three weeks.

Shauna, a care assistant, said: "Connor is itching to get back to school I keep saying he need to take it easy.

"The school have been brilliant not only in fundraising but also for the support and help they have given him."

She welcomed the news that proton beam therapy will be available for the first time in the country at Christie Hospital in Manchester next year.

Shauna said: "It is brilliant we will get this treatment here.

"It is exhausting to travel abroad for treatment, catching two flights and then going through the treatment is exhausting, it is quite hard.

"I missed my son's 18th birthday because I was in America.

"It will make a big difference to people being able to have this treatment in Manchester."