James’ Story

Meet nine-year-old James!

James was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was just two years old and went through three and a half years of very intense chemotherapy.

James absolutely loves football! He is a big Liverpool FC fan and enjoys watching local team Coventry City play. James also adores Star Wars and Marvel movies and enjoys re-enacting them in the garden.

Knowing how much James loves his football, Amie Mills (who is a play worker at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire) felt a trip to watch Coventry City play in VIP style would be a great treat for him.

University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire is just one of over 100 UK hospitals that we work with here at the Trust. Having so many hospitals on board enables us to invite as many children as possible to enjoy a Box4Kids experience.

Upon James’ being nominated, his dad Chris said ‘we hadn’t heard anything about the charity before James got nominated and so when we looked into it we thought it was an amazing opportunity for children to experience.’

Did you know, Barrie funds the entire Trust and Box4Kids initiative with his own money! He hosts plenty of the events including his beloved LFC, Coventry City, Newmarket and Aintree Racecourses, Lord’s Cricket and Manchester Arena to name just a few.’


James’ VIP Experience

On 2nd February 2019, James, his dad Chris and mum Ruth were invited to enjoy a VIP experience at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry to watch Coventry City take on Gillingham. It was a close game with Coventry taking the lead in the second half, only to have the win taken from them with a Gillingham penalty in the ninetieth minute! This certainly didn’t dampen the day for James though.

‘I loved the food, the hospitality, the football and the fact we could watch the game with blankets and in really comfy seats’ James said. ‘We felt thoroughly spoilt and watching football will never be the same again!’

Our Box4Kids guests are always so well looked after at every Coventry City home game we attend. Not only with superb treatment in the box, but sometimes they even get the opportunity to meet players after the game!

Dad Chris added ‘James missed out on so much whilst in treatment and this VIP experience gave us a happy family memory that will last forever, rather than a hospital or cancer memory.’

After the event James commented, ‘I thought the whole day was an amazing experience. As soon as I walked into the box and looked out on the pitch I felt really special. I loved being able to do that with my Mum & Dad!’

Coventry City FC are one of our top box donators, as they very kindly provide an executive box to Box4Kids for every weekend home fixture. We are so lucky to have box donators such as Coventry City as it provides us with plenty of opportunities to invite seriously ill and disabled young football fans to experience a football match in VIP style. If you know anyone who has an empty box or if you are a box holder and would like to be part of the Box4Kids initiative then please get in touch.