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  1. ITV Report

"I'm using the loss of my son, Bradley Lowery, to help save children's lives"

Point of View is an ITV News series where we invite people to share their life experiences and what they've learned from them.

Gemma Lowery has vowed to help save other children's lives, by using the legacy of her son Bradley. This is her story.

In private, I was extremely bad in terms of grief. I used to cry myself to sleep. But when you go out in the public, you put this face on, so you kind of, you become an actress.

– Gemma Lowery
Gemma Lowery and her son Bradley Credit: PA

Bradley was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma when he was 18-months-old. His family created a campaign to raise money for treatment which was not available in the UK.

On that journey, Bradley captured the heart of the country and attracted the attention celebrities who supported his campaign.

He actually knew he was famous.

He used to say, "Mammy, do you know I'm famous?"

– Gemma Lowery
Gemma said Bradley and Jermaine's friendship was unique Credit: PA

Most notably, was Bradley's friendship with footballer Jermaine Defoe. A mascot for Sunderland and England, the pair walked onto football pitches across the country to chants of "there's only one Bradley Lowery".

Gemma recalled the moment Jermaine visited the hospital before Bradley passed, saying: "Brad hadn't moved all day, but as soon as he heard Jermaine's voice, he lifted his head. All he wanted to do was give him a cuddle, and it was such a special moment".

The Lowery family are still in touch with Jermaine and often visit him or speak on the phone.

Not only did Bradley experience being a mascot, but he also had a horse named after him at the Grand National.

Now, Gemma works tirelessly as CEO of The Bradley Lowery Foundation, alongside five other volunteers.

The Bradley Lowery Foundation was established in August 2017 after Bradley tragically lost his fight to neuroblastoma.

In 2013, Gemma started a fundraising campaign to get Bradley treatment in the USA, which was not available in the UK.

Over £1.3 million was raised, providing the funding base for the charity.

The foundation aims to support families who are fundraising for treatment or equipment, which is not readily available or covered by the NHS.

Gemma has recently travelled to New York with the family of a little girl called Ivy, to undergo cancer treatment.

Although it's hard to watch children receive the treatment Bradley was due to get, Gemma says it's important for her to be there for the families during the difficult times. They are currently working with 20 children.

A five-bedroom holiday home for sick children and their families will be built by the Foundation, on the Yorkshire coast in Scarborough.

The Foundation has recently donated £200,000 of general funds to Neuroblastoma UK research and also supports legacies of other children.