A terminally ill Liverpool FC fan who is cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats has received the ultimate words of encouragement from Jurgen Klopp.
Cancer patient Gareth Emmerson was delighted to get a letter from the Reds boss ahead of the 1000-mile challenge he is aiming to complete whilst undergoing his fifth treatment of chemotherapy in June.
“It’s something that I never expected but was over the moon when I received it,” Mr Emmerson told JMU Journalism.
“It’s what the club is all about, helping and loving their fans, and I am truly grateful for what they have done as they didn’t have to do it.”
The 28-year-old was first diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma seven years ago after initially feeling back pain at the gym. Since then he has battled to defeat the rare type of cancer four times, having brain surgery in December 2020 to remove the latest tumour.
Ewing’s Sarcoma belongs to a category of cancers known as Sarcomas, which attack the bones and soft tissue muscles and are most common in teenagers and young adults.
Mr Emmerson said: “For me it’s all about raising as much money as I can for people suffering the same way I am. This is what drives me when I’m training and I feel tired or exhausted, that I need to do this for other people.”
He is cycling in support of Sarcoma UK, the only national charity to fund research, provide information and support those with Sarcoma cancers. However with Covid-19 impacting heavily on fundraising over the past year, with many events having to have been cancelled, Mr Emmerson’s monumental cycle could prove huge in more ways than one.
With the first and current drug for tackling Sarcoma cancers being developed over 40 years ago, and 75 percent of surveyed people never hearing of the disease, raising awareness is essential.
CEO of Sarcoma UK, Richard Davidson, told JMU Journalism: “Everyone at the charity is so inspired by Gareth and his story. He has said that he knows the money he is raising may not even be able to help with his treatment, however he is still very happy to raise money for future patients, and this is truly inspiring to us all.”