A LITTLE girl is fighting cancer with a smile as she has life-changing treatment in the USA.

Four-year-old Katie Dodd has had a second round of pioneering therapy for a cancerous tumour on her spine which has left her unable to walk.

But her parents say the Farnworth youngster remains “unfazed” by the treatment and is working harder than ever at her physiotherapy with dad Lee.

She is being treated at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, with proton beam therapy — an advanced form of radiotherapy not available in the UK.

Her proud mother Rebecca said Katie has even started to crawl.

She added: “She has been working super-hard at physio, being challenged by new physical therapists who are not familiar with her abilities and therefore are pushing her that bit harder.

“Her right leg is the weaker one but she practises every day and her dad ensures they spend time each day to do stretches and various leg movements.

“Her crawling is only a few steps and the weight of her body is carried by her arms so it is very tiring for her.

“Her legs don’t have the strength to carry her body yet as her muscles have wasted since September 2012.

“Hopefully with more practise and her confidence building, this is another step in the right direction.”

Katie is now regularly talking about “when her legs are better”.

But Mrs Dodd said: “We know there is still a huge mountain to climb and it will be a long, slow road.”

Katie has impressed doctors with her calmness in the sessions, meaning she has not needed any anaesthetic — a rare achievement.

Katie’s problems started last August with severe back pains.

On September 16 she woke up and could not move her legs. An MRI scan revealed she had a six-centimetre tumour.

Since then she has been having gruelling treatment and the £114,000 cost of the proton beam therapy is being met by the NHS.

For more details go to katiedoddappeal.co.uk or call Katie’s aunt Donna Brown on 07977 545105.