While many will remember last Saturday’s Premier League London Stadium stalemate between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth for what unfolded on the pitch, off it, it was a very special afternoon for one courageous little girl.
Isla Caton, three years old and from Hornchurch in Essex, is currently battling a rare and cruel disease that affects only around 100 children per year in the United Kingdom, Neuroblastoma.
Isla’s parents Michael Hook and Nikki Caton are desperately attempting to raise a sum in excess of £190,000 to take her to the USA for a potentially life-saving Vaccine which isn’t available in this Country.
To help with the family’s fund and awareness raising campaign, Isla was invited by the club to be a Mascot for the visit of the Cherries, leading out both teams in the arms of West Ham Skipper Mark Noble.
Speaking prior to the match, Isla’s Mum Nikki had this to say about the occasion,
“We are grateful to West Ham United for the opportunity to raise both funds for Isla and for the Bradley Lowery Foundation at today’s game and are immensely proud that little girl will lead out our Football team at London Stadium”.
Millions around the globe will remember Bradley Lowery as the young Sunderland fan who captured their Hearts, before tragically succumbing to Neuroblastoma in March 2017.
The Bradley Lowery Foundation survives him to this day, helping sick children and their families to get the help that they need to overcome the horrible form of Cancer.
The Charity have given their backing to the Isla’s Fight campaign and Bradley’s Mum, Gemma, was at the match three days ago bucket-collecting for the steely tot.
During Bradley’s own battle with the illness, he forged a heart-warming friendship with then Black Cats striker and ex-Hammer Jermain Defoe, who later moved to Bournemouth.
Defoe has also been among the popular faces to promote Isla’s cause, writing on his Twitter Account on Friday afternoon,
“Gemma (Bradley’s Mum) and others will be collecting outside the Club Shop, so pop along and support a great cause #Cancerhasnocolours”.
Isla is currently undergoing a gruelling 15 months of Chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital Great Ormond Street, in the wake of the Cancerous Cells spreading to her Bones and their Marrow.
You can help to raise awareness for Isla, her inspiring story and her on-going fight by using the Twitter Hashtag #ISLASFIGHT and you can make a donation on SMS by texting ISLA14 and your amount to 70070.
To donate Online, simply head over to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/IslaCaton. And if you want to find out more about Isla Caton and many other youngsters fighting child Cancer, be sure to visit www.bradleyloweryfoundation.com.