“#GoGold: honoring children with cancer that One Direction has supported through the years “
September is childhood cancer awareness month. During this time we honor and remember all the children affected by cancer and their families as the bravely fight against this life threatening disease. In one single month, 25,000 families receive the news that their child has cancer and over 6,500 lose a child to cancer.
Childhood cancer cannot be treated like adult cancer. It often originates through a different mechanism and it requires specific therapies. That’s why it is so important to bring awareness to it, to raise funds for research and care specifically of childhood cancer.
One Direction has supported many seriously ill children through the years, both directly and through their charity work. Many of the children One Direction supported are cancer patients. Some of them have become more recognizable as the established real friendships with One Direction.
Meg Bhari, was only 16 years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She endured over 20 operations and several rounds of chemotherapy. Yet she was able to turn her suffering into something good for others. With the help of her mom, Meg founded Believe in Magic, a charity dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of seriously ill children and to bringing magical memories to these children. One Direction has been supporting Meg and Believe in Magic from day one. Harry Styles’ mom, Anne Twist and Louis Tomlinson’s mom Johanna Deakin have been also involved with this charity in different capacities. They have been raising awareness for them on social media, Anne trekked the Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Believe in Magic and Jay organized the Cinderella Ball in August 2015, which raised millions of dollars for this charity. Meg is currently very poorly and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family bring her back home to the UK from the USA where she had traveled to seek treatment available to her there.
Harvey Hext, was only 3 years old when he was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of childhood cancer. He endured months of grueling treatment including a 2 weeks stint in a lead-lined room with limited contact with his loved ones, before being declared in remission. In 2014, Harvey participated to an event organized by Believe in Magic where he met Louis Tomlinson’s mom Johanna Deakin. Johanna spoke to Louis about Harvey, and Louis was moved by the boy’s story and wanted to help as much as possible. Over the next months Louis and Johanna made sure they gave Harvey and his family special memories, including VIP treatment at one of the band’s shows. Unfortunately, Harvey relapsed in October of 2014. In August 2015, Johanna and Louis invited Harvey to the Cinderella Ball, an event by Believe in Magic that Louis’ mom helped organize. Here Harvey and his family were treated to a night of fun together with other seriously ill children. Both Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne were in attendance. Unfortunately,
Harvey passed away on November 29th 2015. Louis was one of the first people to tweet about Harvey’s passing. After Harvey’s passing, his mom Sarah set up a charity in his memory called A Sibling’s Wish, focused on helping bereaved siblings endure the loss of a brother or sister. The charity donates beautiful memory boxes to children grieving the loss of a sibling where they can keep special objects or photographs of their lost brother or sister.
Chloe Balloqui, is a playful 5 years old girl, who has battled high risk stage IV neuroblastoma not once but twice. Chloe was diagnosed at age 2 and after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation she was declared in remission in 2014. In January of 2015 Chloe was due to travel to the USA to take part in a clinical trial of a vaccine that could prevent the recurrence of the disease. However, Chloe relapsed a few days before her departure. Thankfully the recurrence of the disease was caught early and her medical team was confident that further treatment could push Chloe back into remission. In April of 2015, Chloe was featured in a documentary about immunotherapy clinical trials in the UK called “Raining in my heart”, that caught Louis’ and his mom Jay’s attention. The two wanted to give Chloe, who was at the time still being treated for neuroblastoma, a night to remember, so they invited her and her family to the Cinderella Ball that took place in August of 2015. After the Ball, Louis and his mom kept in touch with Chloe, who was finally declared cancer free in June of this year. At the end of June Chloe traveled to the USA for her first round of vaccine. Chloe is currently doing really well. Her last scans are clear, she has been tolerating the vaccine beautifully and her Hickman line was removed.
One Direction has supported many other children affected by cancer, by donating tickets to their show, meeting them personally in meet and greets and by supporting charities that help these children. Some examples of these charities One Direction has supported through the years are Believe in Magic, Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens, Stacey’s Smiles, Trekstock, Make a Wish and Rays of Sunshine.