Ahead of this year’s Mission Christmas launch, brave Liam Morrison from Doncaster received the surprise of his life.
The treat to remember came courtesy of local charities Eve's Trust and Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids, who made the five-year-old's dreams come true by bringing him closer to his love for World Wrestling Entertainment.
Liam, one year into a three-year chemotherapy treatment programme, only has 26 per cent school attendance because of his medical treatment's demands.
But he has long been supported by Eve's Trust, a charity established in 2011 to help provide dreams for terminally or seriously ill children in Doncaster area.
They organised a trip for Liam, his brother and parents to see sold-out WWE show at London’s Wembley Arena. What Liam didn’t know was he’d actually get to meet his wrestling heroes including Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose!
A picture posted of Liam with Roman has already received over 174,000 Instagram likes on WWE’s official page with tens of thousands more on Facebook.
Part of the trip this weekend included a chauffeur driven visit around London’s most popular tourist attractions, as Liam cannot travel on public transport because of the risks of infections that can have a devastating impact on his health.
Eve's Trust Dreams Coordinator Claire Graham said: “We’ve been working with Liam’s family for quite some time to make sure that his dream could come true after everything he has been through. After working tirelessly to arrange a meet and greet with the WWE wrestlers after the show and giving them a trip to remember, we contacted Cash for Kids, who invited Liam’s family to Hallam FM to help us reveal the surprise to him.”
Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids children’s charity, which supports sick and disadvantage children across South Yorkshire, organised another surprise for Liam and his family. After speaking to radio presenter John Harrison from Big John at Breakfast, he led the family to a room to reveal a bed converted in to a wrestling ring for Liam along with other treats including WWE Money in the Bank play set and toys for his older brother.
Liam’s mum Lyndsey, a Doncaster nurse, said: “You know that childhood cancers go on, until you’re thrown into that situation, you never ever understand how heart breaking it is for someone to sit in front of you to say ‘your child has cancer’.
“He is stunned. He has his very own wrestling ring! I am very overwhelmed. I had to hold back the tears when he watched the video revealing he was going to London.”
A video of the moment that revealed the big surprises for Liam and his family, which is available on Hallam FM Cash for Kids Facebook page, currently has thousands of views online which is raising awareness of Mission Christmas, South Yorkshire’s largest gift appeal - backed by The Star, which launches next week.
Mission Christmas, which boosted the local economy last year by over £1.1 million, by encouraging the public to buy an extra gift and donate it, helped a record breaking 21,458 children last year. Applications for over 5,000 children have already been received ahead of this year’s campaign which officially launches on Monday (November 14).
Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids Charity Manager Allan Ogle added: “We were all incredibly touched by what Liam and his family are going through and really wanted to help make those memories last a lifetime. Mission Christmas is all about helping children where we live and providing hope.
“We’re renowned for supporting local charities like Eve's Trust and we are expecting to support dozens of other charities, organisations, food banks and community groups through Mission Christmas this year.”
Registration is now open to sign up as a drop-off point and take part in fundraising activities, including Christmas Jumper Day in December, by visiting www.hallamfm.co.uk/mission or by calling the Cash for Kids team on 0114 209 1100.