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Friday, October 14, 2011

RIP Jack Marshall

*sob sob* first heard about him when i started following Jack Wilshere's twitter.. Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumour at such a tender age and passed away this morning at just 6 years old.. it's such a sad thing to know that there's kids out there dying, and so young too..

Jack Wilshere keeps tweeting pics of them together which is so touching.. an article i read recently made me cry.. will it be a crime posting it here rather than linking it? my blog, my call  =b


Jack Wilshere knows some things ARE a matter of life and death. That’s why he had to help young Jack Marshall

MAYBE it is because he has encountered tragedy in his life before that Jack Wilshere has done what he has done for little Jack Marshall and his family. Maybe it is because Wilshere’s uncle, a young man who was more like a brother to him, was killed in a car crash at just 16.

“I had just played my first game for England Schoolboys and I was so happy and so thrilled,” Wilshere says. “Then we got the news. My uncle was a passenger in a car that went out of control. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

Or perhaps it’s because the Arsenal midfielder, the brightest young talent in English football, has known since the start of the year that he was to become a father himself. Perhaps it’s because since his son, Archie, was born a fortnight ago, he has understood even more keenly just how precious is the gift of life.

“When we got Archie,” Wilshere says, “it made me realise even more what Jack’s family are going through. “Everyone hopes that what has happened to Jack will never happen to their kid. “All I wanted was for Archie to be healthy when he was born but I still worry about him all the time, anyway. “We check him over and over again at night. What’s happened to Jack is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

What happened to Jack Marshall, a beautiful, brave, loving child who has touched many, many people with his courage and his cheerfulness, was a brain tumour. A tumour that transformed him from a carefree little boy obsessed with football in general and Manchester United in particular to a six-year-old kid clinging desperately to life.

What happened to him is that after surviving an operation to remove the primary tumour, he learned to walk again by tottering after a football sent by Sir Alex Ferguson. What happened to him is that the brain tumour, a form of cancer which kills more kids in the UK than any other variation of the disease, began growing and spreading again.

And six months ago, the hospital sent him back to his home in Scunthorpe and told his parents, Tracey and Craig, and his elder brother Josh, 12, that Jack would be dead within days. So while Tracey and Craig have been trapped in a living hell, Jack has defied the doctors’ predictions by fighting on and on. And his parents have devoted every moment to caring for him, trying to make every day special for him, while they watch him fade.

To add to their anguish and for reasons only the kids involved could explain, some local boys have begun to bully Josh since his brother became ill. A couple of months ago, he was beaten up in the local park while he was playing football.

Many people in sport have been kind. Rio Ferdinand helped to arrange a visit for Jack and his family to the Manchester United training ground. Wayne Rooney has worn a Jack Marshall wristband to raise awareness of the ­prevalence of brain tumours and encourage their early detection. And Serena Williams ­organised tickets for Jack and his family to meet her at Wimbledon in the summer and watch her play.

Wilshere, though, has been a constant. He might be 19 but he has showed the kind of caring that most people only discover later in life. I have visited Jack Marshall and sat at his bedside and it is not comfortable seeing a child enduring such suffering. It is difficult emotionally, particularly if you have never been close to that kind of pain and misfortune.

The easy thing, particularly for a teenager with the football world at his feet, would be to turn away, to keep the kid at arm’s length. But Wilshere didn’t do that. He became aware of Jack’s plight through Twitter but he didn’t stop at supportive tweets or expressions of concern.

When Jack Marshall and his family made the journey south to watch the tennis at Wimbledon, Wilshere and his mum, Kerry, met them later in their trip and spent a day with them.

“My mum cried the whole way home,” Wilshere says. “There was something about Jack. It’s obvious, I suppose, but his strength in adversity was inspiring.”

Wilshere kept in touch. Aware that the family desperately needed a break from the strain of their day-to-day struggle, he invited them to watch Arsenal in the pre-season Emirates Cup at the end of July. They went round to Wilshere’s house for a barbecue and met Wilshere’s dad, Andy, too. They joked with Wilshere about the sleepless nights he was about to endure with the arrival of his baby.

Their own sleepless nights are different. They get up with their boy in the early hours, too, to give him medicine that keeps him alive. His wakefulness is limited now. Every time Wilshere sees him, he notices Jack is less and less able to talk. Little Jack sleeps most of the day. His world is contracting as Wilshere’s opens up before him.

In mid-August, Wilshere invited Jack and his family down to London again for the Champions League qualifier against Udinese.
And then, when he heard about what was happening to Josh, Wilshere and a friend made the journey up to Scunthorpe and took him to the park to watch him kick a football around. The kid who beat Josh up was there. His mouth dropped open when he saw him hanging out with the man who is tipped by Alan Shearer to be England captain one day.

“Josh is only 12,” Wilshere says. “No kid should have to endure what he has. His brother’s brave and he’s brave, too.”

Tracey Marshall finds it hard to express how much gratitude she feels towards Wilshere.

“Josh will come home and say ‘can I give Jack a ring’,” Tracey says. “If Jack’s busy, he’ll explain to him and say he will call him back. And he always calls back. For me, that is a little bit of light in all this darkness.

“Jack Wilshere has done more for us than he will ever know. When he invited us to London, he gave us the reason and the means to get out and just have a few days away as a family.

“I have told him how much it means to us but I’m not sure if he realises properly. I can’t put into words what he has done.

“Seeing a little child very poorly is not easy. He does not have to do it. He could have looked away. Some people pretend our Jack is just not there but Jack Wilshere has never done that.

“We have seen Josh come in from school really upset and down because of what’s going on. And then Jack has rung and suddenly he has a massive smile on his face. I can’t do that for him but Jack can.”

Wilshere has a tattoo on his wrist as a tribute to the uncle who was like a brother to him. “James Marshall 1990-2006”, it says. “The name’s a strange ­coincidence,” Wilshere says.

Maybe it’s another reason why he has taken the little boy and his family to his heart.

The truth is, the reason doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that an England footballer who didn’t need to help has given comfort to a family who found it where they had least expected.


sad, ain't it? huhuhuh 

this just shows that above all, Arsenal players are way better than MU players hahahaha

Jack Marshall, u will be missed #Jacksarmy