Saturday 21 April 2018

Niall Horan meets young cancer sufferers in bowling alley visit

One Direction star Niall Horan surprised young cancer sufferers with a surprise visit (Cancer Research UK/PA)
One Direction star Niall Horan surprised young cancer sufferers with a surprise visit (Cancer Research UK/PA)
One Direction star Niall Horan at a bowling alley with eight-year-old Luna Caden (PA/Cancer Research UK)

Young cancer sufferers have been bowled over by a surprise visit from One Direction star Niall Horan.

He chatted with the youngsters at a bowling alley after revealing the news that special events organised by himself and golf pro Justin Rose raised more than £560,000 for the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens charity.

Three-year-old Karos Rasoul, who was on his first day out to play since being diagnosed with stage four Wilms' tumour in July 2015, was joined by Horan in hitting the pins.

Karos, of Clapham Common, south London, had to have a kidney removed and the cancer had also spread to his lungs.

He had four weeks of chemotherapy before surgery, then he was put on 34 more weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy after his operation.

His mother Fermisk Mustafa said: "It was such a special day, it was the first time we had been out with Karos to play and having some fun.

"Niall was absolutely amazing with the children and so caring with Karos. He had so much fun bowling and at the end Niall gave him a high five, which Karos loved."

Horan described meeting the children and their families as "amazing", adding: "They had been through so much but they were all so strong and positive. It was really inspiring.

"I'm so glad we've been able to raise so much money for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.

"Cancer is the biggest killer of children, teens and young adults in the UK, which is why it's so important to raise money to find cures and kinder treatments for the disease."

Luna Caden, eight, of Hampstead, north west London, hoped Horan was not upset when he asked her about what music she liked - and was told Katy Perry and Justin Bieber were her favourites.

She said: "It was great fun and such a surprise when Niall arrived.

"I thought he was a really nice person, he asked me about my family and I think it's great that someone so busy being famous has time to come and meet us, and is helping to raise money so other kids don't have to go through the same thing."

Luna was diagnosed with a tumour known as rhabdomyosarcoma when she was just a year old. She underwent chemotherapy treatment, had the tumour removed and has been clear of cancer for several years.

Alayna Fernandes, 13, of Reading, Berkshire, who has a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma, said: "It was a fabulous day out and I especially enjoyed the bowling with Niall - he was so nice and kind and lovely to talk to.

"My friends at school were all so jealous that I got to meet him. It was an amazing experience."

Horan and Rose raised the funds through a gala dinner and the BMW PGA Championship.

Hodgkin lymphoma sufferer Elliot Abel, 17, had no choice but to overcome his fear of needles during months of chemotherapy and steroid treatment.

Currently in remission and aiming to go back at school for his A-levels next year, he said: "It really is a day I will never forget.

"He (Horan) didn't treat us like we were any different to normal teenagers who didn't have cancer, which means so much.

"Chatting to Niall was like spending time with an old friend who you hadn't met for a while, we were talking about college, music and golf."

About 1,700 children aged under 14 and 2,300 youngsters aged between 15 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer annually in the UK.

Around three-quarters of children of under 14 with cancer now survive their disease beyond ten years compared with more than a third in the 1970s, according to Cancer Research UK figures.

Press Association

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