Tonight, assuming nothing has changed, five-year-old Bradley Lowery will lead Sunderland out for the match against Chelsea at the Stadium of Light..
Lots of small children grow up cherishing lifelong memories of the day or evening they were mascots for their favourite teams. Unless there is to be a miracle, poor Bradley has only weeks to enjoy the warm glow of such a recollection.
As most readers will know, he is suffering from neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, and has been given just very little time to live.
Bradley’s consultant has set out three options, as you will see below, but personally believes none would save his life.
Let us hope Bradley’s evening feels as special as the players and supporters will undoubtedly try to make it.
And before you forget his cruel and unjust plight, please put aside a Christmas card and send it to him. It is his wish to receive as many cards as possible and the BBC reports the total has already reached 11,000.
5 Attlee Avenue
My card, which you see above co-signed by various old colleagues during a festive meet-up, goes in the post tonight, first class.
Yesterday, I found my wife in tears. She has no interest in football but was deeply moved having just seen the following message from Bradley’s dad, posted before last weekend’s games (when all sets of fans at our game and Newcastle’s chanted his name on five minutes) and shared by one of her Facebook friends:
So as most of you know Bradley’s had scans the last few days. To cut a long story short I’m devastated to let use know that his cancer has continued to grow. We have had a meeting with Bradley’s consultant and he has giving us three options but all three options only give us time with Bradley.
First option is to take him home and stop all treatment this would only give us 2 month. Bradley’s consultant said if it was him he would do this. Second option is to give Bradley some oral chemo which is weak on the bloods. This is a palliative care option and he doesn’t think it will do anything but he said we could try. Third option is that he is willing to give a antibody and chemo combination that I was looking to go to America for if we can fund the drugs which is obviously not a problem. However he believes if we do that we could lose Bradley through treatment and we will be in hospital for at least two months. He believes regardless of the three options we have they all have the same outcome and that is Bradley will lose his fight. I honestly have no words to how heart broken I am right now. I really don’t know how I’m going to make a decision either to take my baby home and have a couple of months with him or put him through more gruelling treatment that could leave him fighting for his life and to have the same outcome.
Ha’way the brave and bonny Lad.