A child's first birthday is supposed to be a happy occasion - filled with memories the family will cherish for a lifetime.

Connor Bolton's family will certainly never forget the day he turned the tender age of one.

But it's not because of the sight of him blowing out a candle or tucking into birthday cake for the first time.

The brave little boy spent his first birthday being rushed to hospital, where, after several tests, his family were told the devastating news he had cancer.

Just nine months on, Connor has completed a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has started the road to recovery.

His grandma Kate Bolton wishes to share their story so that it may bring hope to other cancer sufferers and their families.

Mrs Bolton, of Front Street, West Auckland, said: "Connor had been feeling quite poorly for a couple of weeks, when he seemed to take a turn for the worse.

"We took him to accident and emergency and he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where he underwent many tests. He was diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer. It was July 3 last year - the poor little boy's birthday."

Connor spent the next six months at the RVI undergoing chemotherapy, then a further two months having radiotherapy.

Mrs Bolton said: "When adults are diagnosed with cancer they tend to think 'well, that's it'. They seem to be afraid of the treatment, because they know the effects will make them feel unwell. But babies don't know any different and Connor has proven you can battle through it and there can be a happy ending.

"To see Connor go from being next to death to watching his hair grow back and him putting on weight is just the most wonderful feeling of joy." Connor's cancer is now in remission, but he will still need six-monthly check-ups to make sure the disease doesn't return.

He won't be given the all-clear for five years, as this is when the effects of his treatment will wear off.

Despite him being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in advanced stages, at such a young age, it was possible for him to be treated without surgery.

The Bolton family plan to thank the doctors and nurses for their care and attention by organising a one-mile "sponsored toddle".

The money raised from the walk, aimed at toddlers and mums with pushchairs, will go towards the Children's Sick Fund.

The fund is expected to donate the cash to Crawford House, in Newcastle, which offers accommodation for families while their child receives treatment for life-threatening illnesses.

The house does not charge for its services and relies on donations.

The Bolton family, friends and former colleagues are due to meet at the visitors' centre at Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, on Sunday, June 12, at 2pm, and welcome anyone else who may be interested to join them.