Bradley Lowery: Mother Gemma speaks of five-year-old son's fight with cancer

Bradley Lowery and mum Gemma

The mother of Bradley Lowery has spoken exclusively to ITV Tyne Tees about the five-year-old's battle with cancer.

In a wide-reaching interview Gemma Lowery told how she was determined not to give up on her son when she was told his cancer was terminal.

And she thanked "the world" for getting behind Bradley's brave fight with neuroblastoma.

Gemma also told of her wish to see Bradley reach his sixth birthday in May, which she said would be a massive milestone and spoke of the legacy the inspirational youngster would leave.

Bradley Lowery at the Stadium of Light Credit: PA

Bradley was just two-years-old when he was originally diagnosed with cancer.

Gemma, who lives with husband Carl, in Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, said the news was "heartbreaking" and the youngster was given just 50% chance of survival.

Hospital staff would call him "Resus-Brad" because the resuscitation trolley was outside of his room that many times.

But Bradley battled and just before Christmas in 2015 the family were told he was cancer free and had seemingly beaten the disease.

In July last year however, the family were dealt a devastating blow when they were told Bradley had a tumour and the cancer had returned.

Gemma said it was a huge shock, but in December worse news was to come when the family were told Bradley's neuroblastoma was terminal.

Bradley Lowery as a mascot for Sunderland Credit: PA

Unfortunately we kind of knew it had progressed because he was in extreme pain.

Gemma Lowery

Bradley was offered pioneering treatment at Newcastle's RVI, not yet available on the NHS.

It is hoped the treatment will extend his life and give his family precious memories, but Gemma was warned it could kill him.

Despite those warnings, Bradley has had one round of the treatment.

And although that first round was extremely painful for Bradley, until doctors got his pain relief right, Gemma insists it was the right choice.

Bradley Lowery smiles as his treatment starts in the RVI Credit: Family photo

To be honest, it wasn’t really a hard choice for us because I’m not ready to let him go yet and I know Bradley and he’s a fighter and he’s got plenty of fight in him.

Gemma Lowery

Bradley's treatment is being paid for with money raised by a huge army of well-wishers. The same well-wishers who sent him more than 250,000 Christmas cards when an appeal went global.

Gemma said: "Without the world coming and supporting us we would not have been able to give Bradley this treatment that he is having now, and he wouldn’t be here.

"There’s no words to say how grateful I am for the people and the kindness that people have shown."

Bradley Lowery with his hero Jermain Defoe Credit: PA

Gemma said she is not thinking about the immediate future and the fact Bradley may not be with them for long.

She says the family are enjoying every minute with him 'having fun' and hopes they reach the next 'big milestone' - Bradley's sixth birthday in May.

She said: "When I got the news of it being terminal and he could only have a couple of months, all I could think about was, 'I just want to get him to his sixth birthday.'

"I just want him to be six because he’s spoke about being six so much. Getting him to live until he is six that’s a big milestone."

Bradley recovering from treatment at the RVI Credit: Family photo

But despite the uncertainty of the near-future, Gemma has a clear idea of the long-term legacy Bradley will leave.

Any money not used for Bradley's treatment will be put into the Bradley Lowery Foundation to support others going through the same ordeal.

The foundation, she says, will bring her and her family comfort after Bradley has gone.

It will be very comforting because I feel like that Bradley has only had a short time on this Earth, and hopefully he’ll continue but if he doesn’t then he’s leaving a legacy and he’s done more in his five, six, seven, eight, nine years of life than most people have done in their 90 years.

Gemma Lowery