A “kind-hearted” seven-year-old Manchester United fan is to walk from the children’s hospital in Liverpool, where his cancer-stricken cousin lives, to Old Trafford Stadium to raise awareness of the “amazing” work he does.
Harvey Goodman’s seven-year-old cousin, Zach, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer – which the family did not want to disclose – last June.
“Since then, he has lost all his hair and has had aggressive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and Alder Hey has looked after him the whole time,” said Harvey’s 29-year-old mother Naiomi, who works as a sales manager. PA News Agency.
“What sparked the idea for the walk for Harvey was hearing how amazing Alder Hey was – the staff are always on hand when Zac needs anything.
“And he came up to us and said he really wanted to do something for Zach.”
Harvey is set to walk 40 miles, starting at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – which is based in West Derby, Liverpool on April 1 and finishing at Manchester United’s famous stadium – Old Trafford on April 2.
He told PA that he originally wanted to walk from Wembley to Old Trafford but that was “too long”.
“So I decided to leave Alder Hey as Zak is there and Zak was really happy for me to do that walk for him.”
Manchester United fan Harvey will wear a top and coat emblazoned with the club’s logo, with the words ‘Harvey 2 Old Trafford’ emblazoned across it, which he hopes will boost the cause.
“My friends, my family, some of my teachers, my aunts, my uncles and Man United legend Sammy Mcllroy will be on the ride with me,” Harvey added.
The young man is practicing for the challenge by going for walks and delving into many sports pursuits.
“I’ve been doing some training walks, I’ve been running, I do a lot of kickboxing three times a week, I do football twice a week and cycling,” he said.
When asked what he is most looking forward to when the challenge finally begins, Harvey said: “Getting to Old Trafford.
“All my friends and family will be cheering me on and that will make me very happy.”
Initially, the family, who live in Manchester, set a target of £5,000, which was doubled within a few months and has since also been surpassed.
“We thought it was a very high number and if we got anywhere near that we would be really over the moon,” Ms Goodman said.
“And the fact that it has now been overcome is amazing.”
Harvey’s father Matt Goodman, 42, who works as a business development manager, added that it would “be great” to reach £20,000.
One of Harvey’s favorite comments on his JustGiving page was from an anonymous account, who wrote: ‘keep up the amazing work Harvey! You are an inspiration to us all,” and he wasn’t very anonymous after all.
“It was really funny because it was from an anonymous account, but my mum said it was my grandma.”
Mrs Goodman added: “I think that was more because Grandma didn’t know how to use JustGiving and leave a name.”
She also pointed out a particular comment that touched her.
“There was a comment from someone we didn’t know who saw the fundraiser who said her daughter was being treated for heart surgery there and wished Harvey the best and called him an absolute legend.”
Mr Goodman added: “It’s great to see the number of people who have donated, including many United fans, as Alder Hey is a wonderful children’s hospital.”
In February, Harvey visited the hospital, where he was given a tour of the facility and saw how his money would make a difference.
“Harvey was actually able to go into a virtual reality machine to look inside a heart,” Ms Goodman said.
“He’s got a good feel for what they’re doing and how incredible they are.”
Alder Hey said that “every step of Harvey’s epic walk, and every penny he donates, will help sprinkle some magic into Alder Hey and we look forward to joining him in his challenge.”
Both Harvey’s parents said they were “absolutely proud” of their son.
“He’s so kind-hearted, anything that allows him to do something to help, he’s always the first to step forward,” Ms Goodman said.
Harvey’s desire to help others extends to making sure other kids believe they can achieve anything, and he has shared the words, “It’s okay, you can do this” to any young readers hoping to take on fundraising feats .
Harvey previously walked more than 16 miles from his school, Stockton Heath Primary School, in Old Trafford, raising almost £8,500 for his school’s playground and meeting former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Mrs Goodman said Harvey’s school had provided “amazing” support for the fundraiser, with headteacher Dan Harding adding: “Given how impressively Harvey met his challenge last year, I have no doubt that he will not only meet it the challenge, but he will absolutely crush it.”
Pascale Harvie, president and chief executive of JustGiving, said: “Harvey is such an inspiration to us all.
“At just seven years old he thought of and took on this huge challenge to raise vital funds to help his cousin and so many other children in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”
You can find Harvey’s fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harvey-2-oldtrafford