A GLAMOUR friendly football match between Fermanagh and Mayo senior teams, to take place on Saturday May 4 in Brewster Park, is being held to raise money for a very special little boy.
The pre-championship friendly, dubbed ‘Playing for Sam’, is in aid of the ‘Sam Bradley Care Fund’, a charity set up to raise funds to help fund the treatment and care of 21 month old Sam Bradley from Belnaleck.
Sam is the elder son of Fermanagh Herald Sports Editor, and former Fermanagh player, Colm Bradley, and is currently undergoing treatment for a rare and aggressive cancer.
Sam was diagnosed shortly after Christmas with high risk neuroblastoma and is currently undergoing intensive treatment in the Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital in Belfast. Although he has responded well to the first part of a six phase treatment plan, there is a possibility that some of his care will have to take place outside of Ireland.
The Bradleys, who reside in Belnaleck, have temporarily moved to Belfast as Sam faces prolonged periods of time in hospital over the coming year, with the possibility that he may have to go abroad for the end of his treatment, at a considerable cost.
Sam’s family has set up a campaign, ‘Together for Sam’ to help raise funds for Sam’s ongoing care and potential treatment abroad.
A website, www.togetherforsam.com is due to go live in the coming days, while you can also follow Sam on twitter @togetherforsam and on Facebook at togetherforsam.
Less than 15 children across the country are diagnosed with Neuroblastoma each year, with some of the most cutting edge treatment only available in Ireland and Europe on a clinical trial basis.
There are a number of fundraisers planned for Sam over the coming months, with more information available at www.togetherforsam.com , on twitter @togetherforsam and also on facebook at togetherforsam.
When the teams take to the field on May 4, Sam will be recovering from eight hour surgery to remove a tumour from his right kidney.
“He has been so brave,” explained Sam’s father, Colm “He has had six cycles of chemotherapy in 60 days and has bounced back so well. The surgery is the second phase in a six phase treatment plan before more chemo, radiation and then immunotherapy.
“He has been through a lot but he just keeps smiling and refuses to let anything keep him down.”
As part of Sam’s treatment is only available in Europe on a clinical trial basis, there is a possibility that complications would mean Sam may not qualify for some of the potentially life saving drugs.”
One of the first of the fund-raising events is a cooking demonstration by Neven Maguire in Sam’s mother, Michelle’s, home town of Kiltimagh. Michelle works with Neven in his award winning MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion.
The cookery demonstration will be held in the Park Hotel, Kiltimagh on Wednesday, May 1. ‘Cooking for Sam’ will also have an added element of glamour, with the event being compered by television personality and nation’s favourite, Anne Doyle.
If, as the family hope, he can get all his treatment in Ireland, then a number of children’s cancer charities will benefit from the fund-raising efforts.
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