Football heroes help to make Corey’s dream come true
A ‘FOOTBALL MAD’ Dungannon boy - who moved with his family to America shortly before he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer - saw his dream come true when he met with one of the sport’s biggest stars.
Eleven year-old Corey McGurgan was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with his footballing heroes - none other than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Celtic boss Neil Lennon - as part of a specially arranged treat from St Christopher’s Hospital for Children, near his new home in Abington, Philadelphia.
Corey, along with his parents Martin and Charlene, brother Shea and sister Carly-Rae, moved to the USA in August 2010 to start a new and exciting life.
The family settled in well to their adopted home, with Corey excelling at school and as a flourishing soccer player.
However, after complaining of a sore knee towards the end of last year, Corey was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, and has been undergoing a gruelling series of treatments since then.
And, according to his grandmother Carmel Douglas, the special meeting with two of the world’s most famous footballers was just what the doctor ordered to lift his spirits.
The unforgettable experience was made all the more special, meanwhile, because Corey’s beloved uncle Eoin (who has recently signed for Dungannon Swifts Reserves team) and best friend Luke Campbell, had travelled from Dungannon to Philadelphia just days beforehand, and accompanied him to meet the football stars.
“Through St Christopher’s Hospital and a charitable organisation, a special treat was arranged for Corey to meet Ronaldo and Kaka, as well as the Celtic team”, explained Carmel.
“Neil Lennon in particular made it all so memorable for him when he arranged for the boys to meet the Celtic team. Corey’s parents, Charlene and Martin, couldn’t praise Neil Lennon enough for all he did for Corey and the boys on the day, even getting them to help put the cones out on the pitch and letting them sit in the dugouts.
“It was a dream come true for all of the boys, and especially for wee Luke as it was his birthday on that day. It was a big boost for Corey himself, which was just what he needed before going for surgery to remove the tumour from his leg.
“Thankfully, the surgery was a success, and we are so grateful for that. He has a few more sessions of chemotherapy to get through, and he is going to need a lot of check ups and blood counts.”
Carmel told the Tyrone Times Corey’s parents want to update all their friends and family - as well as the countless strangers who have been touched by their son’s story - about his current condition, and to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.
“Charlene and Martin want to let people know how Corey is progressing”, said Carmel, “and the whole family would like to thank everybody for their support, through fundraising and, in particular, through their prayers at this difficult time.
“It means a lot to them to know they have so much support at home. We would ask you all to continue praying for Corey in his ongoing treatment.”
Carmel also thanked the medical professionals caring for Corey, particularly Doctors Lackman and Halligan, nurses and other hospital staff.
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Weather for Dungannon
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 9 C
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Wind direction: North