A “kindhearted” seven-year-old Manchester United fan is said to have walked from Liverpool Children’s Hospital, where his cousin who is suffering from cancer lives, to Old Trafford Stadium to raise awareness of the “amazing” work it is doing.
Harvey Goodman’s seven-year-old cousin Zak was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last June, which the family declined to disclose.
“Since then he’s lost all his hair and he’s been through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy and Alder Hey has taken care of him pretty much the whole time,” Harvey’s 29-year-old mother Naiomi, who works as a sales manager, told the PA news agency.
“Harvey got the idea for the walk from hearing how great Alder Hey had been – the staff there are always on hand if Zak needs anything.
“And he came up to us and said he really wanted to do something for Zak.”
Harvey will embark on a 40-mile walk, starting on April 1 at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – which is based in West Derby, Liverpool – and ending at Manchester United’s famous stadium – Old Trafford – on April 2.
He told PA he originally wanted to run from Wembley to Old Trafford but that was “too long”.
“So instead I chose to walk from Alder Hey since Zak is there and Zak was really happy I did that walk for him.”
Manchester United fan Harvey will wear a top and coat adorned with the club’s logo with the words ‘Harvey 2 Old Trafford’ on it, which he hopes will garner support for the cause.
“My friends, my family, some of my teachers, my aunts, my uncles and Man United legend Sammy Mcllroy will be with me,” added Harvey.
The youngster has practiced the challenge with walks and numerous sporting activities.
“I’ve done a few exercise walks, I’ve run, I do a lot of kickboxing three times a week, I play soccer twice a week and I ride my bike,” he said.
When asked what he’s most looking forward to when the challenge finally begins, Harvey said: “Coming to Old Trafford.
“All my friends and family will be cheering me on and that will make me very happy.”
The Manchester-based family initially set a target of £5,000, which has doubled in a matter of months and has since surpassed.
“We thought that was a really high number and if we got anywhere close to it we’d be really over the moon,” said Ms. Goodman.
“And that that has now been surpassed is amazing.”
Harvey’s father – Matt Goodman, 42, who works as a business development manager, added that “it would be really good” to reach £20,000.
One of Harvey’s favorite comments on his JustGiving page came from an anonymous account, which read, “Keep being awesome Harvey! You are an inspiration to all of us”, and in the end did not remain very anonymous.
“It was really funny because it came from an anonymous account, but mom actually told me it was my grandma.”
Ms Goodman added, “I think it was more because grandma didn’t know how to use JustGiving and leave a name.”
She also pointed out one particular comment that touched her.
“There was a comment from someone we didn’t know who saw the fundraiser saying her daughter was being treated there for heart surgery and she wished Harvey well and called him an absolute legend.”
Mr Goodman added: “It’s nice to see how many people have donated, including many United fans, as Alder Hey is a great children’s hospital.”
In February, Harvey was allowed to visit the hospital where he toured the premises and saw how his money was making a difference.
“Harvey was actually able to look inside a heart with a virtual reality machine,” Ms. Goodman said.
“He got a good feel for what they do and how incredible they are.”
Alder Hey said that “every step of Harvey’s epic walk and every penny donated will help bring a little magic to Alder Hey and we look forward to joining him in his challenge.”
Both of Harvey’s parents said they were “immensely proud” of their son.
“He’s so kind, anything that allows him to do anything to help, he’s always the first to step forward,” Ms Goodman said.
Harvey’s desire to help others extends to making sure other children believe they can achieve anything and has circulated the words “It’s okay, you can do this” to any young readers hoping to fundraise to be able to
Harvey previously walked more than 16 miles from his school, Stockton Heath Primary School, to Old Trafford, raising almost £8,500 for his schoolyard and meeting former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ms Goodman said Harvey’s school was “amazing” in supporting the fundraiser, and Headmaster Dan Harding added: “Considering how impressively Harvey pulled off his challenge last year, I have absolutely no doubt that he didn’t rise to that challenge will only put it, it will absolutely smash it.”
Pascale Harvie, President and CEO of JustGiving said: “Harvey is such an inspiration to all of us.
“At just seven years old he came up with this great challenge and took it on to raise vital funds to help his cousin and so many other children being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”
Harvey’s fundraiser can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harvey-2-oldtrafford