LEEDS United player Sam Byram surprised a young cancer patient who has been treated to a bedroom makeover in his club’s colours.
The 19-year-old visited Joseph Carolan who had his room kitted out in honour of Leeds United with bedding, wallpapers and curtains bearing the club’s badge.
Joseph, from Featherstone, West Yorkshire, started supporting the team when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. During long hospital stays while he was undergoing treatment, he would watch the Leeds United games to keep him occupied.
The makeover and player visit was set up by the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, a charity which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
Joseph’s father John said: “Meeting Sam and having his bedroom decorated with a Leeds theme has really boosted Joseph. The medication that he’s on can make him feel quite down but this has really cheered him up.”
Midfielder Byram said: “It was great to visit Joseph and see his face light up when he showed me his room. The items that the club donated have made his bedroom like a shrine to Leeds United. It’s very easy to forget sometimes what joy football can bring to people, and it was great to be able to meet Joseph and see the smile on his face.”
Joseph, 10, had been suffering from flu-like symptoms before his diagnosis but after a trip to the doctors in May 2012 he was given the news that he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Joseph endured nine months of intensive chemotherapy and will now have two years of maintenance chemotherapy. His mobility has been affected; he now relies heavily on a wheelchair, and has been unable to attend school.
John said: “Due to his illness Joseph has unfortunately had to spend a lot of time in his bedroom so having it decorated to reflect his favourite team is really fantastic for him.”
Other Leeds United paraphernalia include a light, cushions, a framed picture of Elland Road and a calendar. The interior design work was carried out by Jane Edwards at Margot & Miller, based in Chapel Allerton.