October 2017 Brave Bradley's Fight
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Bradley Lowery's smile and his incredible bravery in his fight against neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer which primarily affects children, propelled the six-year-old into the hearts and minds of football fans around the world. Lowery was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, underwent two years of gruelling chemotherapy and became well-recognised within football following an awareness campaign run by his family named ‘Bradley Lowery’s Fight’. He made appearances as a mascot for Sunderland, Everton and England and struck up a close friendship with Sunderland striker Jermaine Defoe, who regularly visited the youngster at home and in hospital. The brave young fan lost his fight on 7th July.
In a statement, Defoe said: “Goodbye my friend, gonna miss you lots. I feel so blessed God brought you into my life and had some amazing moments with you and for that I'm so grateful. I'll never ever forget the way you looked at me for the first time, the genuine love in those cute eyes. Really finding it hard to express what you mean to me. The way you say my name, your little smiles when the cameras come out like a superstar and the love I felt when I was with you. Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person.
God has you in his arms and I will always carry you in my heart. Sleep tight little one. My best friend.” The Lowery family invited anyone touched by Bradley’s story to his funeral. They said it was “open to everyone who would like to come and celebrate Bradley’s life and pay their respects to show him how much he was loved. You can wear whatever you want for the funeral but the family and friends have chosen the theme cancer has no colours.”