Brave Sheffield boy is back from treatment in US after brain tumour returns

A brave Sheffield boy has spent a gruelling nine weeks' in the US for treatment after his brain tumour returned.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:51 am
Reece on the left with dad David, step mum Michelle and brothers Charlie and Findley outside the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville Florida

Heroic Reece Winterbottom now aged 12, was initially diagnosed in 2012 - just six months after he lost his 30-year-old mum Kirsty to skin cancer.

After reading Reece's original story in The Star, Mosborough Music Festival organiser Steve Cowens organised a fundraiser to send the Sheffield United-mad youngster to Disney Land with his family and things were looking well after scans.

Reece and Charlie got the chance to meet former Sheffield United captain Neil Collins who now plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies

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But in June of this year, the family got the 'devastating' news that Reece's tumour had returned.

Reece has spent the last two months in Jacksonville, Florida, for 30 gruelling sessions of proton treatment.

Proud dad David Winterbottom, 43, of Sothall, said the doctors are 'very confident' of success but the initial news came as a huge shock.

"It was devastating, it was really upsetting. But Sheffield Children's Hospital has been fantastic with us. I can't thank them enough for all the help and support they've offered.

Reece and Charlie got the chance to meet former Sheffield United captain Neil Collins who now plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies

"The doctors said it had come back very small and the best option was to travel to the US for proton treatment."

The main advantage of proton therapy over other types of radiotherapy is the dose is deposited over a narrow range and there is minimal affect on healthy cells.

"His spirits were very high throughout. He never moaned or complained once, he just got on with it, I'm so proud of him," David said.

And commenting on United's league success under the tenure of Chris Wilder, David said: "Ever since we've been in Florida, United haven't lost a game! With us being over there we must've been a lucky charm. It's cheered Reece up no end.

David's sons got the chance to meet former Sheffield United captain Neil Collins who now plays for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

"He was a great bloke, it was really good of him to meet the lads. All the players were great."