THE story of a Wirral schoolboy who lost his fight with leukaemia became one of the most moving moments of this year’s Children In Need.
Liverpool FC fan Elliot Wild, from Higher Bebington, died in March after a desperate search for a bone marrow donor. Footage about the eight-year-old’s fight for life inspired 40,000 people to call the BBC’s charity appeal show a fortnight ago.
His name was also trending on Twitter, as was Wirral’s Claire House hospice, where Elliot was cared for and the footage was filmed.
Mum Jackie said: “We went to the night in London and while we were in the green room we were told they had received a record amount of calls for one film – about 40,000 in the space of five minutes.
“Twitter and Facebook also went crazy on the Friday night.
“Claire House has also been inundated with calls since the programme, which we are so happy about because it is such an amazing place. The BBC even repeated the film later on in the night because of the impact it had.”
Elliot and his family encouraged 1,000 people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan organ register.
The Higher Bebington junior school pupil was spotted as a young football talent aged five by Everton FC and played for the club through its football development programme.
But he was a passionate Liverpool fan and both clubs helped in the search for a donor.
This search brought the family close to Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones and his partner Dani Lawrence.
The footballer lost his son Luca to leukaemia last week.
The five-year-old had been undergoing treatment in France, where his mum lives.
Mrs Wild said: “I have spoken to Dani – it is so awful. Life is cruel.
“They were a great support to us and our efforts to get a donor.”
David Pastor, chief executive at Claire House, added: “Claire House is so grateful to Jackie and her family for sharing their story and raising awareness.”
For information, log on to www.claire-house.org.uk