Shropshire mum and son holding charity football match in memory of Kean, 16
A Shropshire mum-and-son team are planning to hold a charity football match in honour of a 16-year-old relative who died of cancer in 2022.
Emma Rogers and her son Adam, from Church Stretton, will be holding the fundraiser in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, based at Birmingham Children's Hospital, in memory of Emma's nephew and Adam's cousin, Kean.
The Birmingham House gave her Kean's mum Vicky, stepdad Craig and brother Lucas the opportunity to stay close by when he was having treatment at the hospital, which is around 60 miles away from their home.
Kean,also from from Church Stretton, was just four-years-old when he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare form of cancer – in 2009.
Emma said “It was an incredibly upsetting time for the whole family. We knew Kean was in the best place, but he needed lengthy treatment, and it was so far away from home.
"Travelling back and forth would have just added to the nightmare for his mum and stepdad.
"Staying at the Ronald McDonald House meant that they could be close to Kean and didn’t have the worry of paying for travel and hotel costs.
"Kean was in and out of hospital a lot, so Ronald McDonald House became like a second home.
"We will never forget the incredible love and support they offered to our family at the worst time of their lives.”
The Birmingham House can accommodate up to 66 families, with children in the adjacent hospital; a total of 849 families stayed at the house last year.
It provides a place to sleep, cook and retain some sense of normal life; a lifeline for families at a stressful time, especially when they are far from home.
A Ronald McDonald House saves each family an average of £1,240 in out-of-pocket accommodation expenses.
Despite treatment, Kean's cancer returned and he passed away in September 2022, aged 16.
As Kean was a long-time fan of Shrewsbury Town FC, the family is now planning to raise the funds in his memory, at a charity match to be held at Russell Meadow in Church Stretton on Sunday April 30.
Emma said: “Teams made up of family and friends will be competing for a trophy and there will be lots of additional fundraising activities on the day.
“We would like to encourage local people to join us on the day to cheer on the teams and support Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.
"Kean loved football and went to all Shrewsbury Town’s matches home and away.
"We think this is a wonderful way to remember him and support a fantastic charity”.
Justine Cleary, community fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Midlands said: “Our hearts go out to Emma and her family following the tragic loss of Kean.
"Their determination to remember him and to support the work of our Houses is both inspirational and incredibly touching.
“It’s an enormous privilege to allow families like Kean’s the chance to stay close to their child whilst they are in hospital, but we can only continue to do so, with the support of people like Emma and Adam.”
To find out more about Emma’s charity football match please contact firstname.lastname@example.org