AN ABERLADY gran is calling on superheroes to help send her grandson to America for life-saving treatment.

Little James Baron, four, was diagnosed with a tumour in November last year. The youngster needs specialist treatment to help fight the rare condition.

James has rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of an aggressive tumour which affects his optic nerve, and has spread to his bone.

The youngster has already undergone seven chemotherapy sessions but experts believe James is likely to need proton beam therapy, which is not yet available in the UK.

Fewer than 60 children are diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in the UK each year. Most are younger than 10 and it is more common in boys than girls.

The soft tissue sarcomas develop from muscle or fibrous tissue and can grow in any part of the body. With James it has developed behind his eye, in his optic nerve, and the first signs for his family were a bulge in his eye.

Proton beam therapy allows doctors to give radiotherapy with far fewer side effects. Unlike conventional radiotherapy, in proton beam therapy the beam of protons stops once it ‘hits’ the cancerous cells, meaning it results in much less damage to surrounding tissue.

Gran Julie-Ann Mckenzie, of Aberlady, has started fundraising for James, and will be holding a superheroes-themed disco in the village this weekend.

James’ mum Kayleigh, who grew up in Aberlady, now lives in Aberdeen with partner Richard, James, his sisters Imogen, three, and Evelynn, two, and baby brother Henry, seven months.

Gran Julie-Ann said: “James was diagnosed in November and it has been a difficult time for everyone. Everything is focused on his treatment at the moment.

“The doctors believe he might be a candidate for proton beam therapy, but it isn’t going to be available in the UK for at least another 18 months. We are doing all we can just now to raise funds so they can travel to America for the treatment.” The family have a variety of fundraising events lined up to help them reach their goal.

And the superhero theme is perfect for the youngster, who is a big Batman fan.

Julie-Ann said: “James loves Batman and superheroes, as well as Lego. He is a beautiful boy, very loving towards his sisters and brother, always giving them kisses and cuddles.” The superheroes disco is being held in Aberlady Bowling Club tomorrow (Saturday) from 7.30pm. For tickets contact Julie-Ann on 07922 248512.