The Ticketmaster Sport team were at the home of The Arsenal last week to attend 'A Night to Inspire', an annual fundraiser in support of The Arsenal Foundation alongside Arsène Wenger and the First Team Squad. The Arsenal Foundation is an incredible charity that uses the power of football to support and inspire young people across London and around the Globe.
We were also lucky enough to be joined by one such person, our very special guest, Cory, a devout Arsenal fan, part-time footballer and cancer survivor. Here’s his story:
You attended the Arsenal Foundation event, what would you say was the highlight of the night?
I can honestly say this night was one of my best nights ever. I met so many lovely people and many of the players too including my favourite player, Alexis Sanchez. To be around all these great players and people was truly amazing. An experience all my friends were jealous of!
So Cory tell us your story:
At the age of 8 I started getting headaches and pains but I thought nothing of it but it was bugging me. I told my mum who then took me to A & E where they had a look at it and referred me to an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist. It was then they had realised that I had a lymphoma cancer in my neck. This was tough news to take in especially at that age and I had to give up school and football in order to be treated. I was being treated with Chemotherapy for about 10 months. My family and friends were very supportive at this time. As the months went by finally I was given the all clear which was excellent news to hear. I returned to school and football gradually regaining my fitness and I loved every minute of it.
How has football helped you?
Football is my passion, I love watching and playing it. It has helped me in a sense of it allows me to stay healthy and fit and also gives me something to look forward to everyday. It is a big part of my life that I enjoy doing and I want to live life to the full and do this as a profession as I am grateful to have been given a chance to get the all clear from my cancer.
What message would you like to pass on to any other people that have had cancer out there?
To stay strong and brave and to push through it as there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy every day you have and your bravery will have many people look up to you as a role model.
How long have you been an Arsenal fan and why?
Since I was old enough to know what football is. I was born in Islington where Arsenal are based and at the time Arsenal were a big and successful club which adds to the reason I am such a big fan.
What player do you rate?
Alexis Sanchez as he is so hard working and has a positive attitude towards the game. He is a winner at heart and a role model to up-and-coming young footballers.
What's your ultimate Arsenal memory?
This would probably be winning the league title in 2004, going the whole season undefeated and also clinching the league title at Tottenham Hotspurs home stadium.
Who do you think is going to clinch the FA Cup Final?
Chelsea have played very well this season but I know on Arsenal's day they can beat any team in the world. Arsenal are very good at Wembley and hold the record for most FA Cup titles won. So I am going for an Arsenal win.
With thanks to both Arsenal FC, The Arsenal Foundation and Cancerresearch.org
Donate to The Arsenal Foundation here
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What an immense weekend! As many of you know, this weekend marked one of the highlights of the sporting year, both on the field and behind the scenes for our teams across the company.