CANCER battler Sam Shaw got a special treat when he jetted off to America for his treatment — the chance to sit in the cockpit of a plane.

The four-year-old, from Hoddlesden, journeyed to Philadelphia to receive immunotherapy treatment.

Sam, of Glencoe Avenue, was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma in January and a campaign to raise £250,000 to pay for treatment was launched.

The treatment is unavailable on the NHS but could improve the youngster’s chances of survival by 20 per cent.

Mum Christine, who has travelled out with Sam alongside husband Carl, said they were prepared for a long stay in America.

She said: “All Sam’s grandparents came to the airport to wave him off.

“It was a strange goodbye as they will not see him for months after seeing him every day this year.

“Sam was really good on the flight, which took seven- and-a-half hours and he really enjoyed seeing where the pilot sits.

“He got to sit in the pilot’s seat in the cockpit when we arrived in Philadelphia and we also managed to have a day out and about sightseeing when we got there.

Sam has since had a number of scans, tests and appointments ahead of his treatment. Mrs Shaw said: “He has had a hard week of long days at the hospital full of tests, scans, examinations and appointments.

“He has had a lot of change to get used to with a new home, hospital, doctors and nurses.

“He says people talk funny here and he hasn’t got his family or friends around.

“It is such a lot for a four-year-old to adapt to, but he has mostly taken it all in his stride.”

Mrs Shaw also thanked people for donating to the appeal and urged people to continue their support as more cash may be needed in case of any complications.

She said: “Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has supported Sam’s appeal and those who are continuing to do so.”