Everton donation to cancer boy ‘amazing’

Bradley Lowery with dad Carl and Sunderland goalkeeper Vito MannoneImage copyright
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Bradley, with Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone and dad Carl, was the guest of honour at the game against Everton

The mother of a five-year-old Sunderland supporter who is fighting cancer has thanked a rival club for donating £200,000 to help him get treatment.

Bradley Lowery, from Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool, was guest of honour at Sunderland’s Premier League game against Everton on Monday.

Afterwards, Everton donated £200,000 to help send him to the USA for treatment.

His mother Gemma said it felt like a lottery win.

She told BBC Tees: “It’s amazing, not in a million years did we think that would happen.

“We were in the limo on the way home when my sister-in-law rang and told us about the donation.

“I didn’t believe her, we had to look on the internet to check if it was true.

“When we saw it, everyone was screaming and shouting. It is like we have won the lottery.”

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Bradley, pictured shaking the hand of Seamus Coleman, led the Sunderland players out ahead of their 3-0 defeat to Everton

The family has now raised in excess of the £700,000 they need for Bradley to have antibody treatment in New York, but still need to raise more to cover the costs of any complications.

Mrs Lowery said: “We have now put the money down for the treatment, but the fundraising definitely needs to go on.

“If it turns out Bradley doesn’t need all the money that is raised, it will be given to someone else who needs it.”

Bradley was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013.

After two-years of “gruelling” chemotherapy he was effectively free of cancer and, for 18 months, was a “normal boy enjoying his life”.

But the cancer returned in June.

Mrs Lowery said: “In the UK we can get him chemotherapy but the neuroblastoma would come back, the antibody treatment would hopefully prevent it from returning so that is our best chance of him surviving.”

Bradley led the Sunderland team out for the game and was warmly welcomed by the fans.

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Sunderland have supported Bradley and his family for three years

The crowd applauded and sang “There’s only one Bradley Lowery” in the fifth minute of the game and a banner carrying the message “We’re with you, Bradley” was carried around the stadium.

Commenting on the game for BBC Radio 5 Live, Ian Dennis said: “It’s an extremely moving experience inside the Stadium of Light as the name of Bradley Lowery is being sang, the young five year old who is being cradled by his father, who I’m sure will have a lump in his throat.”

The club has supported Bradley for three years with a spokesman saying his is a good cause.

As well as the donation, Everton has invited Bradley and his family as their guests to the return fixture.

The club declined to comment further.

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