Life is precious. Live it to the fullest, because you never know which second is going to be your last. No matter what happens in your life, always face it with a smile.
Bradley Lowery battled to the very end with a smile across his face and that gave us continued hope, but on Friday 7 July, a brave 6-year-old lad from Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool, broke the heart of a nation.
Hundreds of thousands rallied together to help him and his family battle this debilitating disease, but Bradley’s incredible journey sadly ended today.
Despite the sadness we are all feeling at this very moment, we must remember that Bradley’s legacy will live on forever. Throughout all of the difficult times in his short life, he managed to touch the hearts of millions around him with incredible warmth, energy and bravery.
Neuroblastoma spread to his chest, lungs, lymph nodes, bone and bone marrow, but little Bradley’s heart was still pure.
Bradley may have only been with us for six short years, but he made sure that his time on this earth was precious.
From walking hand in hand with best mate Jermain Defoe at Wembley Stadium to having a horse named after him at the Grand National, the youngster experienced the best of what life has to offer and it all started on a Monday night in the North East.
The world was introduced to Bradley back in September last year.
He proudly led the Sunderland team out for a Premier League game against Everton and was warmly welcomed by the fans. His beaming smile was shared across the country.
Bradley had come along way in a short space of time. Bradley was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013 and after two-years of chemotherapy, he was effectively free of cancer and, for 18 months, was a “normal boy enjoying his life”.
But three months prior to his guest of honour appearance at the Stadium of Light, Bradley’s neuroblastoma returned.
He continued to fight the disease with incredible bravery. Bradley’s message was spread across social media that night, and fittingly, he and his family’s life changed.
After the Sunderland game, the family raised in excess of the £700,000 needed for Bradley to have antibody treatment in New York.
The reaction to Bradley’s appearance that night touched the nation and after the match, it was announced Everton had given £200,000 towards life-saving treatment in America to fight against cancer.8