Wigan's mascot for the FA Cup final tomorrow will be a four-year-old boy with a rare, life-limiting genetic disorder.

Joseph Kendrick, who celebrated his fourth birthday yesterday was discovered to have Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) soon after being born.

His parents were told he was unlikely to live longer than 10 days, and if he did he almost certainly would not reach his first birthday.

Although his condition - which is thought to affect fewer than 500 people in the world - still causes seizures, Joseph has defied the odds and recently started school.

His story has touched the town and his parents set up the charity 'Joseph's Goal' earlier this year to support the world's only recognised specialist in the condition, Dr Johan van Hove of the University of Colorado.

Wigan Athletic have been particularly supportive with manager Roberto Martinez and several players being ambassadors for the charity.

Joseph's father Paul Kendrick, a journalist who covers Latics for the Wigan Evening Post, said: "It'll be such an emotional day to see Joseph lead the players out at Wembley, and it'll really boost awareness of the condition around the world."

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