Bradley Lowery's mum has given her backing to a national charity.
Gemma Lowery has spoken about the importance of raising awareness of Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity to help other families caring for a seriously ill child.
Speaking at Rainbow Trust’s annual staff conference in London, and as the first anniversary of six-year-old Bradley’s death approaches, Gemma described how Rainbow Trust has helped to keep her son’s memory alive.
She said when the Blackhall youngster was first diagnosed with a neuroblastoma at 18 months old, she did not think she would need any support outside of the family.
However, Gemma said: "As life went on we were stuck in hospital trying to save our child so I took the offer of support from Rainbow Trust up.”
Rainbow Trust enables families who have a child with a life threatening illness to make the most of their time together by pairing each family with an expert Family Support Worker who helps them at home, in hospital and in the community, for as long as it is needed.
The Lowery’s Family Support Worker, Monica Dooley, has supported the family for more than five years and still sees them regularly.
Gemma said: "Monica was amazing. She took Bradley out on fun days and she would come so I could have a few hours of fresh air and normality. At one stage during Bradley’s illness I had been in hospital for nine and a half weeks. When we realised he wasn’t going to get better she was there for us. At the very end of his life she sat with us and Bradley.”
And when Gemma asked Monica to read at Bradley’s funeral, she said: “Monica took it on the chin.
“She bought some beautiful gifts. She had taken finger and thumb prints from Bradley and put them on his brother’s cufflinks, which he is going to wear to the school prom. She also made a photo album and we get to keep those gifts forever now.”
Gemma praised the staff at Rainbow Trust, saying they should commend themselves for the work they do.
She said: "Families like ours don’t have easy lives but Rainbow Trust makes life easier. It’s important that Rainbow Trust remains high profile and that we get the Rainbow Trust name out there. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. I think Rainbow Trust is an amazing charity.”