Newcastle United fan gets Sunderland tattoo for young cancer battler
A football supporter made the ultimate sacrifice to show his love for his beloved nephew.
Newcastle United fan David Stonebank has had the badge of arch rivals Sunderland tattooed onto his leg.
David, 35, said he would get the inking if he achieved at least £1,000 worth of sponsorship.
The money was to go towards the fundraising campaign set up for his five-year-old nephew Bradley Lowery, who is battling neuroblastoma.
The family are attempting to raise £700,000 so Bradley can receive treatment in America, which could see him given antibody therapy and drugs to prevent the cancer returning again, or a type of chemotherapy not available in Great Britain.
After the four-figure sum of donations came in following David’s promise – pushing the overall figure beyond £275,000 – he went through with getting the tattoo.
Above it are the words ‘Just For Brad’.
David, of Blackhall Colliery, said: “It broke my heart getting the tattoo, but at times like this there is more to life than rivalry, and I would do anything to raise money for our little hero.”
Bradley’s mum Gemma, 33, who is also a mum to Kieran, 14, says the family has been touched by her brother’s gesture.
She said: “My brother and my dad are Newcastle supporters, but my husband Carl is a Sunderland fan, so my two boys are. There is always banter in the family about the football and they wind each other up a lot.
“David said he’d get a Sunderland tattoo if he got sponsored at least £1,000. I don’t think he expected to get it, and the closer it got, the more nervous he became.
“With being a Newcastle supporter, getting this tattoo is a massive deal for him, but he said it’s nothing in comparison to what Bradley is going through and that he would do anything to raise funds to get the treatment Bradley needs.
“The family all think that it’s amazing, and the support he has had from the community has been really good.”
Lots of more events are planned to raise funds for Bradley, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the start of 2013 and was declared free of the illness in 2014 before it returned earlier this year.
Gemma added: “Bradley has just had his first round of chemotherapy, and he’s probably going to need about six rounds.
“After that, we’ll need to go to America and he will get more chemo, and possibly be able to start the antibody trial.”
To donate to the cause, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BradleysFight