Blues fan Jack, 5, has VIP afternoon with England star; YOUNGSTER WITH LIFE-LIMITING CONDITION MEETS ARSENAL ACE.
Byline: ANDY RICHARDS Content Editor firstname.lastname@example.org @AndyRichards9
A YOUNG Blues fan with muscular dystrophy enjoyed a VIP afternoon with an England football star.
Jack Gauder, aged five, was treated to an unforgettable day at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium where he met Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
The footballer spent the afternoon with Jack, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as they watched Arsenal triumph 2-1 against Leicester City. They were also joined by Jack Gauder's cousin Louie and his parents Emma and Matthew.
Jack was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in October 2013.
The life-limiting condition causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing and severe disability.
The condition affects not only muscles used for movement but the heart and vital breathing muscles, too.
The England star said: "Meeting little Jack was really special - he's a great kid. We chatted together, shared football tips, and I did my best job to covert him from a Birmingham fan to an Arsenal supporter!
"I've been supporting Muscular Dystrophy UK for almost a year and, during that time, I have had the opportunity to meet some incredible families, like the Gauders.
"Living with a muscle-wasting condition can be challenging and if I can do anything to make a difference I will."
Since Jack's diagnosis, the Gauder family have raised over PS50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, through their Family Fund, Fighting Back for Jack.
Emma Gauder said: "We all had a fantastic day - our son Jack was so excited to go to a football stadium and meet 'a famous other Jack.'.
"We all really enjoyed our experience in the box at the Emirates stadium - we felt like VIPs!
"We know life is only going to get tougher for our family, so it meant a lot that Jack Wilshere gave us the opportunity to take our minds off things, even if for a short while, and just have a good time.
"It is fantastic that he is so actively involved with Muscular Dystrophy UK and all the families that the charity supports."
Jack Wilshere with Jack Gauder, aged five