Bradley Lowery is a rambunctious 5-year-old boy who lives in Hartlepool. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma three years ago, and while he and his parents have worked hard to cope with the disease it hasn’t exactly been easygoing.
Bradley is a huge Sunderland fan, and the club have brought him in before to be a mascot. With the holidays coming up, the Black Cats wanted to do something really special for Bradley.
The young boy was invited to the Stadium Of Light for the day during this week’s league clash with Chelsea. Bradley arrived hours before kickoff and immediately received the VIP treatment from the club. After kicking a ball around with other young children, Bradley was taken into the home dressing room while the team was changing into their kit. He got to meet his hero, Jermaine Defoe, and get his shirt signed by other members of the XI for the evening.
Later, the Chelsea squad ran into him and gave him a similarly fawning treatment, with Diego Costa shelving his usual agent-of-destruction schtick to give Bradley a high five and Gary Cahill getting a picture taken with him. He then hung out on the pitch while both teams warmed up.
The evening culminated with Bradley accompanying Defoe as a mascot to help lead the team out. He then got to watch the match with his family in one of the executive boxes. Sunderland, of course, lost to Chelsea 1-0, but between all the fun stuff he got to do (including opening some early Christmas presents), Bradley surely managed to take the loss in stride.
After the visit, an outpouring of support came in as tens of thousands of people around the world sent Bradley holiday cards and even some Christmas presents. The organization who helped organize the day says Bradley has his own sorting line at the post office. A post on Bradley’s FB page says that he’s managed to open some of the cards despite a dip in energy level. Bradley starts radiotherapy next week and, once he’s recovered, Sunderland plan to send him and his family to Harry Potter World in London for Christmas.
If you would like to send Bradley a card the address to do so is: 5 Attlee Avenue, Blackhall Rocks, Hartlepool TS27 4BY.