CANCER battler Sam Shaw has managed to take some time off from his life-saving treatment to enjoy his time in Philadelphia.

The four-year-old, of Hoddlesden, is in the US receiving immunotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January.

His plight captured the hearts of people across East Lancashire and beyond, who raised the £250,000 needed to send him for the treatment which is unavailable on the NHS.

And last week, the brave youngster, of Glencoe Avenue, watched runners taking part in the Philadelphia Marathon, as well as enjoying time at a children’s play centre.

It came as a relief for mum and dad Christine and Carl, who had seen their son struggle with the early stages of his treatment.

Christine said: “It had been a roller coaster of a week as Sam had lost such a lot of weight with his antibody treatment.

"We have been trying to build him back up and he has been well in himself, wanting to play, dance and get out and about, but he developed a cough and cold.”

However, after those difficulties, Mrs Shaw said Sam had been able to enjoy some time away from the hospital.

She said: “We visited a fantastic place called Smith’s Playhouse, which is a building made specifically as a children’s playhouse with three floors of toys and play equipment.

“He drove trikes, bikes, scooters and trains. It is an amazing place and Sam loved it.

“When we finally managed to get him out of the playhouse, we had a walk through Fairmount Park, stopping off at a playground where Sam had a fantastic time climbing, sliding down lots of different slides and playing on the swings.

"The following day, Sam went out early to cheer the runners in the Philadelphia Marathon.

"It was an incredible atmosphere and he enjoyed clapping, giv- ing the 'thumbs-up' and shouting ‘woo hoo’ and ‘keep going’ to the runners. He brought smiles to many of their faces."

  • A fundraising event takes place on Saturday from 7.30pm to midnight at Hoddlesden Conservative Club. Tickets, which include potato pie supper, cost £12.50. There will be a raffle with prizes including tickets to West End shows. Call Gordon Kay on 01254 702201 or 07766 247343.