Young Sunderland AFC fan makes dream trip from San Francisco to Stadium of Light after beating cancer
A young Stateside Sunderland fan who beat cancer is to watch his team in action for the first time.
Callum Miller, 12, lives in San Francisco but his mother, Caroline Corner, was born in Easington. She moved to the USA aged nine with her parents Jane and Sunderland-daft Keith.
Shortly before Callum turned 11, he was complaining of headaches. Tests revealed that he had a brain tumour the size of a golf ball.
Callum lives close to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and spent five days out of every fortnight for six months in hospital, and underwent chemotherapy.
The tumour went away – but following an MRI scan a second tumour, also the size of a golf ball, was discovered.
Another eight rounds of chemo were required, plus a stem cell transplant. Callum had to spend a month in isolation at home while his immune system strengthened.
After another six MRIs he has now been in remission for 10 months. He is on medication and has an MRI scan every eight weeks, which his family still finds nerve-wracking.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation, which helps children who have suffered critical illnesses fulfil their dreams, asked Callum what he would like to do after his ordeal.
At first he suggested paintballing but Make-a-Wish told him to think bigger and instead Callum, with mam Caroline and brothers Dash and Axel, will watch Sunderland in action against Coventry on November 23, as well as see his extended family who have been very supportive from afar.
Caroline said: “We really have been looking forward to this trip as a light at the end of a very long tunnel.
“We were beyond thrilled to find out that the stars aligned with a home game during our trip. We had to take the trip based around Cal's treatment and his school breaks.
“He said he wanted to go to Sunderland to see his aunties and cousins. It's the first time Make-a-Wish USA has granted a trip to Sunderland. I had to point to it on a map!”
She added: “SAFC has been incredibly nice to us once they heard we were coming. We are absolutely blown away by their efforts to accommodate us.”