Over €30,000 were raised for the infant son of a local football player who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
Brazilian footballer Patrick Maia found himself without a job after domestic leagues were forced to terminate after health authorities imposed a ban on organised sports because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shortly after, the former Marsa FC player learned that his son, Luca, had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, as well as Covid-19, and had to be hospitalised for chemotherapy treatment.
With the help of friends and the wider football community, a fundraiser was set up and a total of € 30,961 was collected and transferred to Maia and his family during these difficult times.
A number of local football clubs stepped up to help with donations including Ħamrun Spartans’ goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo who auctioned off his gloves with all proceeds going towards the family.
Moreover, Maltese football star Haley Bugeja also contributed to the cause by auctioning one of her Sassuolo jerseys for a total of €2,000.
“I would like to thank each of you one by one but there were more than 886 transactions over the past few days,” Romeu Romão, one of Maia’s closest friends, said on Facebook.
The money will help pay for the family’s expenses, including cancer treatment and a relocation closer to Mater Dei so that they can be closer to their infant son.
Despite the outpouring of support, Luca has a long road to recovery, with further medical exams revealing that he has metastatic cancer. As such, the one-year-old boy had to recently undergo a 24-hour chemotherapy session and will have to eventually travel to the United Kingdom to receive special treatment.
“Thanks to everyone for sending their donations. God bless you all and stay safe,” Romão said.
In the meantime, Patrick Maia remains without a football contract for the time being.
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