One in a million toddler Dawson has weeks left to live - but his family will keep his legacy alive

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A toddler who was diagnosed with a rare cancer that affects just one in a million children only has weeks left to live, his family has revealed.

But the devastated parents of Dawson Willcock, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, have said that cash raised originally for his treatment won't go to waste, and will instead be used to help other poorly children.

More than £350,000 was raised on a JustGiving page to fund treatment in America.

Hundreds of local people joined in the fundraising mission set up by mum and dad Wendy and David, holding events and making donations.

But the family have been given the heart-breaking news that the cancer was far "too aggressive" for treatment and that Dawson now only has weeks left to live. He was first diagnosed in January.

They even held an early Christmas in their home for their son, complete with Santa and reindeers, because of fears he won't make the festive season.

Dawson Willcock

Dawson Willcock

But the Willcocks want their youngest child’s legacy to live on and will be using the money raised to fund research into the rare condition he suffers from - a type of liver cancer called heptoblastoma.

They also hope to provide holidays to families whose children have also been struck with cancer.

Wendy and David launched their A Dollar for Dawson appeal in May after receiving the news from medics at the QMC that the cancer, which had spread to Dawson’s lungs, was not responding to treatment.

The family wanted to fly him out to Cincinnati in the USA for treatment from top paediatric haematologist-oncologist Dr James Gellar.

Dawson pictured earlier this year with his parents David and Wendy Willcock at the Queen's Medical Centre

Dawson pictured earlier this year with his parents David and Wendy Willcock at the Queen's Medical Centre

They appeared on ITV’s This Morning in a bid to spread the word about the appeal.

Mrs Dawson, 41, who also has a 14-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, told the Post: "He is weeks away now. He is deteriorating. We have taken him off the chemo. It is not working and we think enough is enough. He has had enough – let him have his last few weeks without the side effects and have some fun. He has loved having his family around him."

Dawson Willcock appeared on This Morning

Dawson Willcock appeared on This Morning

Last week, the family celebrated Christmas early and Dawson had a very special visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer. A piece of reindeer antler was spilt between the family as a keepsake – with one piece placed around Dawson’s neck in a chain.

She added: "He is the cheekiest little thing. When he was first diagnosed the nurses fell in love with him. He is so above his years and so funny. Even when he was given the bad news he was still smiling. He has an amazing spirit – to smile your way through cancer."

The family are aiming to spend the £350,000 on providing Butlins holidays to other families who also have children with cancer, buying a caravan in Skegness with all the essentials they need.

Dawson Willcock

Mrs Dawson added: "Memories mean a lot to families who have got ill children. If they are terminal, memories are all they have got but if they are not terminal then you need these happy times to get through all the bad.

"We really want to give something back. We are going to keep on fundraising and to keep the legacy of Dawson alive."

The family also want to help others by paying for "life-saving treatment" their children might need and helping a Colorado Research Lab, which is investigating Dawson’s condition.

The Willcocks want to thank the community for all their support.

"We have a lovely community," she added. "It does give you strength. We could have not asked for any better, not just locally but far away as well."

Mr Dawson, 31, told the Post: "It is overwhelming the support we have had from strangers and people we have never met before. We have met so many people that we would class as friends. We have had people from Australia, America and Sri Lanka. It is amazing that they have given up the money they have earned for our little boy."

Dawson Willcock

Dawson Willcock