Friday 23 August 2019

Aaron Mooy makes dreams come true for American girl

Bella, seven, from Texas, who lost her hair during chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer, was Huddersfield’s special guest on Saturday.

Aaron Mooy scored Huddersfield’s goal against Leicester from the penalty spot (PA)
Aaron Mooy scored Huddersfield’s goal against Leicester from the penalty spot (PA)

By Mark Walker, Press Association Sport

Huddersfield have made a little American girl’s dream come true after she finally got to meet her hero Aaron Mooy.

Bella, seven, from Texas, who lost her hair during chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer, was the Terriers’ special guest at their home Premier League game against Leicester.

She met the shaven-headed Mooy at Huddersfield’s Canalside training ground on Friday and walked out holding the Australia international’s hand before kick-off on Saturday.

Bella’s father, Scott, described his daughter’s adventure as “incredible” after she first spotted Mooy by chance last summer on television playing for Australia in the World Cup.

“It’s a remarkable story,” Scott said. “She was in chemotherapy. We watched a lot of Disney movies. She fell asleep and I turned the channel. I was watching the World Cup.

“Australia happened to be playing and I heard this little voice behind: ‘I like that Mooy. He’s like me’ and pointed to her hair, or lack of it at that point, followed by: ‘Is he on TV, is he on TV?’

“I looked him up online, found out who he was and that he was playing for Huddersfield, started following as a fan. We ended up buying her a kit.

“My wife posted a picture on social media of Bella in her kit. It got blasted all over the world and found its way into Mr Mooy’s box.”

Huddersfield and Mooy, who scored his side’s goal from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat, soon became aware of Bella’s condition and invited the Dallas-based family to be VIP guests for Saturday’s match.

The cost of the trip has been covered by Huddersfield-based company Paxman, who pioneered scalp-cooling technology to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss and has US offices in Texas.

“This is incredible. This is truly remarkable. First class,” Scott said during half-time at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“They have made a little Texas girl’s dream come true, to meet somebody who, unbeknown to him, helped her deal with…she had long curly hair like her twin sister.

“It helped her get to the point where she didn’t wear a wig. She didn’t feel she had to.

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“It is remarkable where we find our strength. I don’t know if words can fully express how much it helped her. How much it helped ease the burden of our family.

“We were wig shopping. We were looking for ways…We were worried about (the) self consciousness of our little girl.

“Boys, men, will shave their head on a bet. Little girls are different. It is remarkable we are here. We are so grateful for everybody’s generosity.”

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