A brave teenager from Hailsham had the opportunity to meet celebrity YouTubers thanks to Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity,
Ethan Holliman, 13, met Rays of Sunshine ambassadors, The Sidemen, at the YouTube Space in London and the charity will be sending him off to Florida with his family soon.
They are currently filming for their YouTube channel but took time out to meet a group of children all living with serious illnesses, including Ethan,
Ethan is currently living with a very rare disease known as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B).
He was diagnosed with MEN2B before also being diagnosed with Metastatic Medullary Thyroid Cancer a year ago.
Due to his condition, Ethan has had to undergo extensive surgery and regular hospital visits throughout the last couple years.
As MEN2B comes with a high-risk form of cancer in early infancy, early diagnosis is vital to save lives. However, unfortunately for Ethan, he was not diagnosed until he was 12 and by then his cancer is incurable.
Ethan’s family is now on a mission to help the Association of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases (AMEND) make more people aware of the condition and the early symptoms of the disease in the hope that other children with MEN2B are diagnosed at an earlier stage and have an improved chance of survival.
A spoksepson from Rays of Sunshine said, “Despite everything that Ethan has been through at such a young age, he is an extremely positive and strong teenager who loves video games, especially Fortnite, and loves to watch The Sidemen on YouTube.”
Jane, Ethan’s mum, said, “I really cannot thank Rays of Sunshine enough for inviting Ethan to meet The Sidemen.
“You have raised his spirits enormously. He was excited from the moment you phoned.
“The Sidemen were fantastic with all the boys. I couldn’t believe how long they were happy to spend with them.
“Ethan was absolutely in his element. I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy. He loved meeting them, especially them watching and cheering as he played Fortnite.
“Thank you so very much. We will treasure the memories you gave us.”
Later this year in June, Rays of Sunshine will grant Ethan’s greatest wish to go to Disney World in Florida with his family.
Once a child has a wish granted by Rays of Sunshine, they become part of the Rays of Sunshine family and the charity continues to invite them along to events to create a positive distraction, reduce isolation and improve self-esteem.
Knowing that Ethan loves YouTube and specifically The Sidemen, the charity invited him to be a part of this special event in London.
The Sidemen is a group made up of seven British YouTube personalities and avid gamers including Simon Minter (Miniminter), JJ Olatunji (KSI), Harry Lewis (Wroetoshaw), Ethan Payne (Behzinga), Joshua Bradley (Zerkaa), Tobi Brown (TBJZL), and Vikram Barn (Vikkstar123).
At the exclusive meet and greet event hosted at the YouTube Space in London, the YouTube stars spent the entire morning playing video games and chatting with the group of young boys.
The group, who currently have more than 4.4 million subscribers on their YouTube channel, also gifted the wish children copies of their bestselling book, Sidemen: The Book, which they signed for them during the event.
Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity was formed in 2003 to brighten the lives of seriously ill young people and their families across the UK by granting wishes and providing ongoing support in hospital and within the community. For more information, or to apply for a wish to be granted, please visit the Ray of Sunshine website
For more information about MEN2B and the Association of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases, click here