24 Feb Pan-disability football match raises £625 for Essex children with cancer – Gold Geese
Aiden All Stars honours 13-year-old with osteosarcoma
Local inclusive football club Lancaster Lions FC took on the Aiden All Stars at an 11-a-side charity football match this weekend, raising £625 for Gold Geese to support children and young people fighting cancer in the Southend and Basildon areas.
Simon Best, manager of Lancaster Lions FC captained the Aiden All Stars at the friendly fundraising match at Garons Park on Saturday, 18th February, set up in honour of Woodham Ferrers lad Aiden Waller who was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in February 2022.
In January last year, doctors found a 28cm tumour on 13-year-old Aiden’s femur and treatment started immediately to stop the cancer spreading.
Aiden, who attends Bromfords School in Wickford, underwent gruelling chemotherapy for months as well as an operation to remove his femur bone and knee and replace them with metal implants.
Aiden is now in remission and while unable to walk since his operation last May, he is building up his leg muscle strength through physio and swimming and hopes to walk again without the need for crutches.
Sarah Waller, Aiden’s mum, said:
“Gold Geese have helped us so much in the last year and we wanted to say thank you by fundraising for them with this match.
“They’ve been a huge emotional help for me, a place I can rant and talk openly about how I’m feeling and the challenges we’ve had – they just get it.
“And they arranged a much-needed break for us to Legoland last summer where we could reconnect and have fun like any other family. While he was in hospital for such a long time Aiden was feeling really isolated from his friends, so Gold Geese even bought him a gaming laptop to help him connect with them easily and to distract him from the boredom of hospital. He’s since gone on to write a children’s book on the laptop and it’s going to be published!
“This is the first of a few ways we want to help Gold Geese in return and pay it forward to other local families experiencing childhood cancer.”
Simon Best, manager of Lancaster Lions FC, said:
“As a local football team at the heart of the community, we wanted to give back to such a worthwhile charity such as Gold Geese. I have followed Aiden’s journey and wanted to reach out to his Mum and see if there was anything we could do to help support the charity and Aiden. We want to make this a regular fixture on the football calendar for years to come, to help support Aiden and other youngsters.”
Katie Southgate, founder of Gold Geese, says:
“Aiden’s resilience is phenomenal, he has been through a huge amount in a short space of time, and it’s amazing to see how the community has rallied around to support him and his family.
“We’re really grateful Aiden’s family nominated Gold Geese as the charity recipient for this match; we rely on community donations to do our work so we can be there every step of the way for every local family affected by childhood cancer.”
Gold Geese support is tailored to each family’s needs and ranges from funding for mental health therapy and food shop vouchers to toys, weekend trips away and practical help with travel to and from hospital.
- A donation of £20 could provide toys or comfy new pyjamas for a child with cancer staying in hospital
- £45 funds an hour’s counselling session for a bereaved family
- £280 funds a memorial bench for a child who has passed away
- £400 funds a big end of treatment celebration for friends and family
- £700 covers the cost of a weekend away for a family to offer respite
You can donate to Aiden’s AllStars by visiting www.bit.ly/AidensAllStars.
You can also donate to Gold Geese via text. Text GOLD followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70580 (for example, GOLD 50 to donate £50). Texts cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.
For more information about the charity or to learn the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer visit www.goldgeese.org.