Posted on Thursday 11 April 2019

in News

Football fan Owain meets the Welsh football team

A 10-year old football fan who was diagnosed with cancer when he was just four years old was ‘made up’ when he got to meet the Welsh football team at the Manchester United training ground in Carrington recently.

Owain and Dylan meeting the Welsh football team

Owain Williams, from Wrexham, was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, a type of kidney cancer, in 2012. Seven years on and after several relapses, major operations and chemotherapy rounds, Owain is now in remission.

During his treatment, the family were supported by CLIC Sargent. It was through Owain’s CLIC Sargent social worker Ffion, that Owain got the opportunity to meet the Welsh football team.

Ffion said: “I knew Owain was football mad so I just thought it would be nice for him to meet the Welsh football team and so I just kept persisting to make it happen!”

Ffion’s efforts and emails to the team’s media department pulled off when she found out the team were going to be in Wrexham for the Wales vs Trinidad Tobago match at the end of last month.

“Owain and his brother met all the team, watched them train and had their shirts autographed. It was a really special day for them and no one deserves it more than him.

“I would like to formally thank the Welsh FA for arranging such a magical and special day for Owain and his brother Dylan.   Without their co-operation this wouldn’t have been possible.   Diolch yn fawr iawn”

Owain and his younger brother Dylan, 8, went with their mum, Dawn Williams, to meet the team.

Dawn said: “Owain was so overwhelmed but he loved it. He really wanted to meet Gareth Bale and Ashley Williams which he did. My son Dylan is a big Tottenham Hotspur fan so was so happy to meet Ben Davies. They were made up! I even enjoyed it too – I thought by the end oh my god I’ve met Ryan Giggs!

“It was a really nice experience and special that Dylan could come with us too and Ffion made that happen. For them two as brothers it was a bonding session and it has reconnected them to do something together.

“We have been supported by CLIC Sargent for over six years because of Owain’s condition. It was a really bad time for us emotionally and we have absolutely been overwhelmed with the support from the charity.”

“We have been supported by CLIC Sargent for over six years because of Owain’s condition. It was a really bad time for us emotionally and we have absolutely been overwhelmed with the support from the charity.”

When Owain was first diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour in 2012, he initially responded well to treatment and the family thought that would be the end of his illness.

Dawn said: “He was given the all clear after four months of treatment and so when we had the five year check in 2017 we went with the mind set for all clear results with no complications or problems.”

Unfortunately however, Owain and his family were given the devastating news that he had relapsed and the doctors had found signs of cancer again.

Dawn said: “We were given the bad news the cancer had returned in Owain’s other kidney. He had already had one kidney removed. From September to June he underwent surgery to have the tumour removed while trying to preserve the rest of his kidney.

“He was doing well again and we were probably around three chemo sessions away from finishing his treatment when he had a routine scan and discovered he had relapsed again.”

Dawn said from June last year Owain was very poorly and underwent three major operations. Thankfully Owain finished his treatment in November and has been in remission since.

Owain and his brother Dylan with their mum Dawn and Ryan Giggs

“Without our social worker Ffion Hughes and the CLIC Sargent nurses, Mary Prince and Jude Edwards we wouldn’t have coped. We received practical, financial and emotional support which has really helped us.

“When Owain was given the news he was in remission we thought it would be goodbye from CLIC Sargent but that’s when Ffion said no, it was her job to now make all the good bits and nice treats happen – and to get the childhood back Owain lost out on and make new memories for him.

“We found out Wales were going to be playing in Wrexham and Ffion made it her mission to get a meet and greet with the team. We met them at Carrington training ground – the same ground Manchester United – Owain’s favourite team train at – so that was really special for Owain and a memory for him to keep.”

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CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.

To find out more about how we help young people cope with the impact of cancer, please visit our what we do section. If you need support yourself please contact us using our online enquiry form or call 0300 330 0803. 

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