No one ever promised that life would be fair, but there are circumstances that seem so painful and so hard to explain that it seems unfit that they’d even happen. It goes beyond being unfair and just becomes incomprehensible.
Bradley Lowery was a little boy with a special kind of love and a very aggressive type of cancer. When he was just 18 months old he was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma and fought with all of his heart against the disease. He spent some time in remission but after he relapsed in 2016 he was out of treatment options in the UK. His family and people who loved Bradley around the world had been raising funds in case he had to fight the disease again to get him to America for treatment, but in December they were told his cancer was terminal.
On July 7th, his social media profiles announced that he had finished his fight with the disease and that he was ‘needed elsewhere’. He brought so much love and light to the world here with so many strong connections and now, he’s taking that with him to a better place, one where he won’t be feeling any pain.
Jermain Defoe was one of the people who Bradley connected with in a massive way and their friendship is something Jermain will carry with him forever. In a press conference recently, he spoke of Bradley and how his time on earth was drawing short – in tears he explained that Bradley was very important to him. He also said it puts stuff into perspective, and if you’ve been following Bradley’s story, you know how true that is.
‘He will always be in my heart for the rest of my life.’
Their friendship captured hearts around the world, and in a day where there is so much focus on negativity or stories of ‘famous’ people and what they do wrong; seeing something so pure and genuine has inspired all of us to love a little more and to live a little harder.
Tributes have been pouring in from around the world, especially from those associated with the sport that Bradley loved so much. The world of football won’t be the same after his passing.
There's only one Bradley Lowery. pic.twitter.com/dzW6mB9lAN
— England (@England) July 7, 2017
FIFA called Bradley one of the football world’s bravest fans.
Today, the football world lost one of its bravest fans.
Rest in peace, Bradley Lowery. pic.twitter.com/x3dhF7yvaO
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 7, 2017
Most of the photos associated with the tributes were of Bradley and his best friend Defoe.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 7, 2017
Sky News posted a touching tribute video that showed Bradley in moments of complete joy and full of the immense love he had for life.
Six-year-old Bradley Lowery never let terminal cancer get in the way of his love of football pic.twitter.com/ITeanK2jwL
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 7, 2017
One simple tweet from Bradley’s favorite team quite possibly means the most. He may have been a mascot for them, but to them, he was a hero and now he’s their angel. With a spirit as bright and a heart as big as his, death won’t diminish that connection. He’ll continue to live on through those who love him, and so many people love Bradley.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 7, 2017
When a child is 18 months old, they should be playing outside, being loved by their friends and family, learning how the world works, and making memories. When Bradley was 18 months old, he began his long journey against cancer. Instead of running around he faced painful treatments and instead of playing in the sun all summer he stayed in hospital rooms.
His family helped to give him a beautiful life no matter where Bradley was, and for that, he was a happy child. It may seem ironic to say that about someone who had such a hard fight, but if you look at photos of him, even in his hardest days – he lived. Bradley genuinely lived life and he won’t ever be forgotten.
As the world continues to play tribute to Bradley, we’re sending all of our condolences to everyone who was touched by his story and his heart. It’s easy to believe that we’re brave and strong, it’s easy to think that we’re doing it all right – but when we think about Bradley, we find the true meaning of bravery and strength, the true value of living life and inspiring others, and we’re challenged to do the same.
There really is only one Bradley Lowery, and we hope that heaven is full of football and sunshine and compassion for him. He deserves nothing less.