We’ve had a fantastic email from Heather Smith who tells us that her Saints mad son Mark has been nominated for Best Sporting Moment of the Year in the Laureus World Sports Awards.
“Our family come from Haydock and have been Saints supporters and members for generations. My father passed this on to his children and grandchildren after emigrating to Australia 50 years ago.
“In April 2013, two weeks before his ninth birthday, Mark was diagnosed with metastasized Medulloblastoma throughout his brain and spine. He underwent a 15 hour surgery to remove the two largest tumours from the base of his brain and the top of his spine. He also had 30 full strength, full brain and spine radiotherapy sessions under general anaesthetic and four rounds of chemotherapy with stem cell therapy. In October 2014, he had further brain surgery to remove a second type of cancer. This was the same time as your Grand Final victory over Wigan. He actually watched the highlights of your match from the hospital bed.
“Mark’s prognosis was not good, but somehow he managed to pull through and survive. However, as a result of the cancer and treatment, he has been left legally blind and hearing impaired among other things.
“In June last year, we were able to fulfil a promise made to him and his sister. We came to England so they could meet their family.
“Mark loves all sports, especially rugby league, so he was really looking forward to seeing the Saints play. We made it to your Superstore which Mark visited many times, always managing to get someone else to pay for what he wanted. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the staff remembered him after all this time, he was there so much. On our visit to buy tickets for the Saints v Widnes game, we were met by your lovely Stadium manager John Murphy, who offered Mark, my uncle and I a tour of the stadium and grounds. It made our day.
“We were lucky enough to watch the Saints beat Widnes. Mark has also developed a keen interest in the English Rugby League World Cup team because of its St Helens members, especially James Roby. He also loves the fact you have Ben Barba as despite being a Newcastle Knights supporter here, he has always been a big Ben Barba fan.
“Mark has been nominated in the Laureus World Sports Awards for Best Sporting Moment of the Year.
“Why? Mark was at a Sydney Swans AFL game with his friend Jarryd. He listens to the radio commentary (as the stadiums here are not as advanced as yours in offering special commentary services to vision impaired people). The radio stopped working so Jarryd called the game for Mark. This was seen and tweeted upon and the tweet went viral. The Swans and the entire country were looking for Mark and Jarryd. Eventually we learnt of this and the boys met the team and led them out onto the field for their first finals game. Laureus have nominated this as a potential winner in the Best Sporting Moments of the Year.
“To have a chance to go to the final in Monaco next year, the boys need to have the most votes this month. Voting continues till the end of the month.”
We think this is more than worthy of an award! To vote for Mark and see a short video of the boy’s story click here