Young Stoke City fan Ashton Hulme has been struck down with a rare cancer.
The 12-year-old, who lives in Newcastle, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the end of 2020. It is a rare type of bone cancer which affects just 50 children in the UK every year.
Ashton has this week started an intensive course of aggressive chemotherapy which will be followed by surgery and further chemotherapy. He will be treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital as well as at hospitals in London and Birmingham.
Now a fund-raising appeal – which had a target of £500 – has already raised more than £14,000.
It comes as the sporting community has rallied around in support of Ashton who plays football for Crewe Alexandra and cricket for Hem Heath.
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Appeal organiser Emma Kidd said: “Ashton lives for football, loves Stoke City and is an extremely talented goalkeeper signed to Crewe Alexandra.
“He is a happy, energetic and incredibly caring young boy who leaves an impression on everyone he meets.
“Although this diagnosis has been a huge blow to Ashton and his family, they are facing this obstacle with amazing positivity.”
Mum Vicky will become Ashton’s full-time carer for the next 12 months.
Emma added: “As a group of friends we plan to organise some fund-raising events to support Ashton and his family through this difficult year but more importantly to support Ashton in his recovery. However, in the meantime, if you can spare anything you can to make Ashton, Vicky and Wayne’s journey a little lighter and to support this amazing young boy, it would be hugely appreciated.”
Crewe Alexandra are supporting Ashton and his family. He is the club’s under-12s academy goalkeeper.
Academy manager Aidan Callan said: “The news about Ashton has completely devastated everyone at the club. Ashton is not only a talented young goalkeeper, but more importantly a brilliant young lad who is full of personality, energy and politeness and is extremely well liked by everyone at the academy.
“Ashton has the support of an amazing family and great friends and everyone is behind him. We will be there for him every step of the way.”
To support the fund-raising appeal click here.