Six-year-old Bradley Lowery died on July 7, 2017. His cheeky smile and never-ending cheerfulness were an inspiration to so many, with his spirit continuing to support families today.
In the wake of Bradley’s death three years ago, his family – from Blackhall – channelled their grief into the creation of a charity in his name.
To date, the Bradley Lowery Foundation has supported poorly children who face a range of challenges in fundraising for treatment and equipment, developed a holiday home in Scarborough so families can make precious memories, and launched a support line for the parents of children with cancer.
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And the charity’s work was inspired by Bradley’s own kindness and determination to support the other youngsters he met during his own time in hospital.
On the third anniversary of his death – Tuesday, July 7, 2020 – mum and charity founder Gemma Lowery took to social media and paid a touching tribute to her special little boy.
In it, she spoke of her hopes to have ‘one last time’ with her youngest son, but only if he could be free from pain.
She continued: “I miss him more than any words could ever describe, I cry myself to sleep at night wishing so hard that when I fall asleep I dream about him.
“However I do wake up the next day, and I work hard to continue his legacy he created in the hope I’m doing him proud.”
Bradley – a keen football fan – formed a close friendship with then-Sunderland AFC striker Jermain Defoe. The two met when Bradley acted as mascot at the Stadium of Light for his beloved Black Cats.
The youngster went on to appear as mascot for England in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, just months before his passing, and also appeared at Goodison Park for Everton – his ‘second favourite’ team.
Gemma added: “Mammy, Daddy [and] Kieran love you more than the sun, the moon, and the stars above and we will never forget you baby.”