THE family of a little boy with incurable cancer has spoken about the trials and struggles of life with their 'very loving' five-year-old.

Charlie Shawcross, from Horwich, was diagnosed with a tumour in his brain when he was just a few months old after doctors discovered coffee-coloured patches on his skin.

The youngster inherited a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 — which causes tumours to grow along his nerves — from his dad John.

There is currently no cure for the little boy's condition and he has frequent visits to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to undergo eye tests and six-monthly MRI scans.

Mum Emma, aged 35, said: "We were aware that Charlie had Neurofibromatosis pretty much from birth, even though he was not diagnosed until he was three months old. The condition has no cure and that means that Charlie’s prognosis is uncertain.

"His condition effects every person differently and some of these do not present themselves until later in life.

"Charlie’s fine motor skills are also affected along with his coordination and balance. He does get tired easily which leads to him getting frustrated with tasks he finds difficult.

"His condition means that he has lots of visits to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for meetings with different consultants and for scans. During all of this, Charlie generally keeps smiling and takes it all in his stride.

"Despite his condition, Charlie is a typical five-year-old boy who loves to play outside and get messy, watch Paw Patrol and is very loving."

The family regularly visits the hospital where the little boy is carefully monitored to make sure his tumours are stable and do not cause any further issues

He also finds learning hard, struggling to concentrate and stay focused on a task.

Having spent the past five years visiting its staff, Charlie and his seven-year-old sister Eleanor decided they wanted to give something back.

On May 20, the siblings will be taking part in the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run to fundraise and complete a challenge together despite Charlie’s condition.

Mrs Shawcross added: "The hospital have been amazing in supporting both Charlie and us as a family and are always there if we need them.

"They are always at the end of the phone for support and advice and we have come to know some of the departments really well. Nothing is too much to ask and they always make Charlie feel at ease.

"We are looking forward to the day knowing we will have lots of fun and our family and friends will be there to cheer us on."

Charlie and Eleanor will join more than 1,000 children for Manchester’s biggest children’s running event, which takes place in the city centre, and hope to raise £200 to support the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

To support them visit