HE HAS spent the past 16 months as Captain Connor, battling the baddies within, but now Connor Whipp is looking forward to life as a ‘normal five-year-old’.
Connor, of Colonial Avenue, Whitton, was diagnosed with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma in January last year.
After months of often gruelling treatment, the comic book fan has got the all-clear from the disease, though medics have warned it could return at any time.
His mother, Sarah Power, who received the news on her birthday last month, described it as the ‘best present I could have imagined’.
"The last 16 months have been very difficult but Connor’s been so brave and taken everything in his stride,” she said. "Now he’s looking forward to life as a normal five-year-old again."
Connor was given the all-clear on April 18 and on Monday this week the tubes used to supply medication were finally removed, meaning he can finally swim and take baths again.
He is back in class at Nelson Primary School but still requires three-monthly check-ups to ensure he has not relapsed, as often happens with people treated for neuroblastoma.
Should the cancer return, he would require expensive treatment abroad – a scenario his family have spent the past 16 months raising money for.
Events ranging from match day collections to sponsored tattooing have helped them raise £207,000 towards their £250,000 target but they still need more to give them some peace of mind.
That money will be held in reserve before being released to help other children diagnosed with neuroblastoma should Connor not need it.
Connor’s obsession with superheroes has played a big role in helping him through his treatment, with the youngster imagining himself as Captain Connor, battling the baddies within.
“Even this week when he was having blood taken, which was quite a painful procedure, he was saying ‘I’m such a superhero, I’m better than Batman and the Power Rangers’,” said Ms Power.
You can still donate to Connor at www.justgiving.com/connor-whipp-appeal or by texting CONN95 and the amount you wish to give in pounds to 70070.
Connor's family recently spoke during Local Newspaper Week of how the Chronicle's coverage had been of help in their battle to raise £250,000 for potentially life-saving treatment abroad.
Mum Sarah said: "I’ve had so many people approach me in the street to say they’ve seen Connor in the paper and want to offer their support. The Chronicle’s articles have really helped publicise the events we’ve organised and raise awareness of neuroblastoma, which many people had never heard of.
“Whenever Connor’s been in the paper, the children would always rush to pick up a copy and we’re so grateful for all the coverage over the last 16 months.”