The mum of heroic cancer battler Bradley Lowery says she is “focusing on building his legacy” as his beloved Sunderland AFC helped to officially launch the charitable foundation set up in the youngster’s memory.
Bradley’s loving mum Gemma was at the Stadium of Light as the club announced that foundation’s logo will be used on the team’s strips for this week’s game against Everton.
Black Cats chiefs have said that the club’s principal partner Dafabet donating the prime space in order to support the charity for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup third round fixture.
Everton, who have been big supporters of the Lowery family, will also sport the logo on their shirts in place of their usual branding,
The one-off shirts will then be signed by the players following the game at Goodison Park and auctioned by the charity to raise vital funds.
Bradley captured the hearts of the world during his fight against childhood cancer neuroblastoma, with hundreds of thousands of pounds donated with the aim of having life-saving treatment in America.
Sadly however, his illness progressed and the brave youngster lost his fight for life in July.
Speaking as the foundation was offically launched at the home of Bradley’s favourite team, Gemma said: “We’re extremely proud to be here today.
“Obviously Sunderland hold a big piece of our heart because of how fantastic they have been with Bradley and he loved Sunderland Football Club so the fact that they are continuing to support us by getting the foundation logo on the shirts ahead of the game with Everton is amazing.”
The Bradley Lowery Foundation has recently been awarded registered charity status, allowing it to embark on a major fundraising programme to help support its aims and objectives.
Since Bradley’s sad passing in July, aged just six years old, his family have worked tirelessly to ensure a positive legacy will come from his personal fight and the Foundation has been set up with the aim of offering support, advice and encouragement to families undertaking their own fundraising campaigns to fund children’s medical treatment and equipment.
“The aims of the foundation are to support and help people to raise funds for medical treatment for anyone under the age of 18 which is not available on the NHS or equipment that they can’t get Government funding for," added Gemma.
“We’ve learnt a lot over the years of fund-raising that we’ve done and we want to share that information with parents who are just starting out.”
Gemma also spoke about her and the rest of Bradley’s family, which includes his dad Carl and brother Kieran, are coping in the weeks since he passed away.
“Obviously it was always going to be difficult losing my little boy,” she said.
“Sometimes it is horrendous and sometimes I just focus on building his legacy. Sometimes I just try not to think about it.”
Asked about how the kind comments and tributes from well-wishers have helped the grieving process, Gemma added: “It does help.
“We got so much support from the whole world and to know that my little boy touched that many people was amazing and it makes us very, very proud.”
SAFC club captain John O’Shea, midfielder Lee Cattermole and forward Duncan Watmore were on hand to unveil the new-look kit.
Duncan said: “This is massive. Bradley touched the lives of so many and he will always be remembered as a really happy, smiley boy and you saw that in his relationship with JD’s (Jermain Defoe) relationship with him.
“I think this is a great way to honour him by helping with the foundation.”
Club chief executive Martin Bain said: “Bradley had a profound impact on our club and the wider football community.
“Through the foundation which bears his name he will forever be remembered as a force for good and the we are honoured to be able to give our continued support to the Lowery family and the charity.”
A special executive box at the Stadium of Light has been donated by the club to the Lowery family this season, giving youngsters facing their own serious health problems the opportunity to enjoy a special match day experience.