A NINE-YEAR-OLD cancer sufferer’s wish to meet his Manchester United idols has been granted.
Kelsall Primary School pupil Joseph Smith was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) two years ago and has to take weekly trips to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy.
Mother-of-three Lisa Smith, of Kelsall, who is a full-time carer for Joseph, said: ‘He gets regular treatment at the oncology ward. The chemotherapy knocks his immune system and he is vulnerable to all of the usual childhood illnesses.
‘Even if he comes down with a temperature he has to go to hospital immediately. Joseph doesn’t complain about anything. The staff are all really pleased with his progress.
Joseph is such a fanatic Red Devil he wears his Wayne Rooney shirt to theatre despite his surgeon being a Liverpool fan. The plucky lad also turned down the offer of being Liverpool’s mascot against Chelsea at Anfield last month.
However, Joseph was on cloud nine when he received a personal invitation from Sir Alex Ferguson to visit the Old Trafford stadium and watch the team train.
Lisa said: ‘I asked him if he wanted to go – his little face lit up and he said ‘Would I! Well I can’t think of anything better, mummy!’
The Manchester United Foundation’s Dream Day trip was organised by charities Dreams Come True and Rays of Sunshine which grant wishes to seriously ill children.
Sue Spear, of Rays of Sunshine, said: ‘A wish for a child to meet their football superstars means so much to them. It gives them a memory that will and does keep them going through the arduous treatments and pain they have to endure.’
Joseph, who is keen a footballer and plays at school, toured the Man- chester United museum and met his favourite players Cristiano Ronaldo, Edwin Van Der Sar, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand.
Lisa said: ‘He was over the moon. Edwin Van der Sar told Joseph to eat his vegetables so he will grow to be 6’ 4’’ and since then he has eaten them every day.
‘He has been a different boy since his visit. We are so proud of him – he works very hard at school and he loves all of the subjects.’