A 'wheely' great Christmas for County Durham lad Joshua after he receives special trike following cancer operation

A 'wheely' great Christmas for County Durham lad Joshua after he receives special trike following cancer operation

Joshua on his trike with parents Carolyn and Jason Mann. Pic: Chris Booth

Joshua on his trike

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

A BOY who lost a leg to cancer is looking forward to hitting the road with a new set of wheels after Father Christmas delivered his dream gift.

Joshua Mann's wish came true when he woke up on Christmas Day to discover a specialist bike had been left under the tree at his family's home in Ferryhill, County Durham.

It was an emotional moment for the nine-year-old as he has been unable to cycle since having his left leg amputated and a prosthetic limb fitted.

When he was just three, Joshua's parents, Carolyn and Jason, took him to the doctors with a swollen knee one Thursday and by the Sunday were told he had the bone cancer osteosarcoma and would need ten weeks of chemotherapy.

They also had to make the painful decision to have his leg amputated above the knee.

Since then he has progressed well and has been in remission for four years.

The family lived in Spennymoor when Joshua became ill and though they moved to Ferryhill in August he still goes to Middlestone Moor Primary School, in Spennymoor.

Mr Mann, 42, hopes the new KMX trike will help him make new friends in Ferryhill.

He said: "The trike is amazing.

"He wants to go to the park and play with friends, but if they're on bikes gets left a bit behind. He cannot always do what they are doing and that is frustrating for him and tough for us to see.

"He's asked and asked to ride a bike and finally he can."

To help Santa realise Joshua's dream, Mrs Mann contacted the charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer which gives cycling equipment to young people affected by the disease.

Within 20 hours of an online appeal being launched the 380 target had smashed, almost all of which came from Kevin Ginnever and colleagues at Sky TV, so the bike could be ready by Christmas Day.

Mrs Mann, 50, said: "The charity and Kevin bent over backwards to get this in time for Santa to deliver at Christmas, it is just the most wonderful thing we could have hoped for and we're so grateful."

Mike Grisenthwaite, founder of Cyclists Fighting Cancer, said: "Josh's is a special story and we're delighted to help, and appreciate all the donations that made it possible.

"The trike is like a mountain bike with three wheels, we think he'll find it fast and fun and hope it gives him all the health benefits of cycling, but also independence, freedom, self esteem and pleasure."

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