When Fardeen met Salah

Donna Carter from Barrie Wells Trust joined a Chingford teenager for the trip of a lifetime

Fardeen meets forward Mo Salah

Fardeen meets forward Mo Salah at Melwood, Liverpool FC’s training ground

Our project Box4Kids provides seriously ill and disabled children with the opportunity to watch sport or entertainment as ‘VIPs’ at 85 major venues across the UK – with more than 6,000 children treated as special guests so far.

One of these is Fardeen, from Chingford, who has attended some of our Box4Kids events over the years and is a huge Liverpool FC fan who I don’t think ever takes his replica shirt off!

Fardeen is a funny and active teenager who enjoys playing with his friends and of course following his beloved Liverpool. Devastatingly, at the age of 13, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer. After two years of intense chemotherapy and frequent hospital admissions, things were looking up as Fardeen’s mum, dad, and two siblings, proudly saw him return to school and back to the life of a typical teenager.

Heartbreakingly, Fardeen’s cancer has now returned to his lungs, shoulders and hips. There is nothing more the doctors can do for Fardeen. His family are now focused on keeping him comfortable and making memories that they can all treasure.

Barrie Wells, the creator of Box4Kids, himself owns a box at Anfield solely for seriously ill children. After seeing what an avid Reds fan Fardeen was and hearing how his love for his beloved team got him through treatment, Barrie was delighted to invite Fardeen to attend his executive box to cheer on his heroes.

Getting the chance to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone along with his fellow fans was such a boost for Fardeen. But as well as watching Liverpool play, we wanted to do something unforgettable for such a deserving young man. Barrie contacted Liverpool FC to see if there was anything special they could do and we were delighted to surprise Fardeen with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see his heroes.

We were able to arrange for Fardeen, his family and Barrie to go to an open day at Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground. Fardeen was so excited to meet his beloved team and get a behind-the-scenes tour. He got to meet manager Jurgen Klopp and superstar forward Mo Salah, his favourite player, plus so many others.

Fardeen had the most amazing experience. Despite his diagnosis, Fardeen’s positive attitude and bubbly personality has been inspiring to us all.

At Box4Kids we work with over 117 different companies including many Premier League clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City, Burnley, and of course Liverpool.

We hope big companies and box holders can help us reach more children by offering a box that isn’t going to be used. There is still so many empty boxes at events and there is even more seriously ill children who would love to feel like a VIP for the day and forget about their pains and problems.

For more information about Box4Kids, a project run by the Barrie Wells Trust:

Visit barriewellstrust.org/box4kids