Sunderland youngster battling serious illness enjoys special match day in Bradley Lowery hospitality box

Chloe Gray with mum Francesca Bowser at the Stadium of Light.
Chloe Gray with mum Francesca Bowser at the Stadium of Light.

The legacy of heroic cancer battler Bradley Lowery is living on as his memory helps other young children battling serious illness.

Chloe Gray and her family put their fight to one side, as the Disney-mad youngster attended Sunderland’s game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday in the Bradley Lowery Foundation Box - formerly Box 18.

Bradley Lowery.

Bradley Lowery.

Little Chloe, seven, of Silksworth, suffers from a condition known as Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, which affects just 700 people in the world.

She is reliant on blood transfusions every three to four weeks and her only chance of a cure is a stem cell transplant, but sadly, there is currently no match for her on the donor register.

But despite battling her illness every day, her determination and fearlessness leaves her family in awe.

Chloe’s mum Francesca Bowser said: “She inspires me every day with the way she deals with it, but on the other hand it’s so sad that she’s become used to living with it because no child should be used to going into hospital.

“We just want to get the word out there so we’re present on social media and we’re hosting events where people can come and register, and you can also register online but that takes a little longer.

“We’ve been searching for a match on the register for over a year but we haven’t found one.”

Bradley passed away aged just six in July after a brave battle against neuroblastoma.

The Sunderland fan, from Blackhall Colliery, touched the lives of people around the world with his courageous fight against the illness, with his family setting up a charitable foundation in his memory to help others in similar situations.

Francesca added: “The Bradley Lowery Foundation also put it on their social media and it’s really boosted the awareness, with over 2,000 people signing up within two days.

“(Bradley’s mum) Gemma has been amazing and I don’t know how she’s so strong – I don’t know if I would be – but what she’s doing to help people is fantastic.”

Francesca also spoke of the joy Chloe and the rest of the family got from spending the day at the match, which finished in a 1-1 draw.

“It’s been a real family day and it’s rare that we get time to do stuff like this, so to have this box for the day and this opportunity really is special.

“We plan things but she often ends up in hospital or is too poorly to actually do it, so it’s lovely just to have a day out.

“Days like today mean everything to families like us.”

You can help find #AHeroForChloe by using the hashtag on social media and by encouraging more people to join the Anthony Nolan register.

Anyone aged 16 to 30, weighing at least 50kg and in good health, can join the register.

The charity will send a ‘spit kit’ in the post to test a sample of the donor’s saliva and inform them if they are a match for someone in need of a stem cell transplant.