Bradley Lowery’s mum set a place for her son at Christmas Dinner two years after the youngster’s death.
On Boxing Day, Gemma shared a message on Facebook admitting she “just wanted the day over with” but put on a happy face for the sake of the other children in her family.
Bradley died at the age of six in July 2017 after winning the hearts celebrities and ordinary people alike as he bravely battled the rare aggressive childhood cancer neuroblastoma.
Gemma’s festive tribute began: “Yesterday was so hard for me and my family, we try our hardest to be happy and act like everything is good for the other children in the family but in reality our hearts are ripped in two and I just wanted the day over with.
“We set a place for Bradley so I know he would have been with us but that doesn’t stop us missing his touch, smile, giggle and just him being him.”
The Bradley Lowery Foundation, set up in the football-mad lad’s name has helped more than 30 desperately ill kids since his death, raising millions to get sick kids access to pioneering treatment and medical equipment not available on the NHS.
In reality our hearts are ripped in two and I just wanted the day over with.
On Boxing Day morning the charity hosted a fundraising event where that saw people, including Bradley’s dad Carl, take a dip in the icy waters of the North Sea.
Gemma continued in her Facebook post: “Today is a new day and I’m just getting ready to go see some amazing but crazy people run into the North Sea.
“We have got 13 brave dippers this morning after having a few drop outs but in my eyes every penny that is raised is more than we had before so I am very grateful.
“If you would like to sponsor Bradley’s daddy doing the dip then you can do so with the link below. This will Help me continue my baby boys legacy.”
The post was accompanied by a photo of Bradley with his mum and dad.
“I have chosen this photo as it’s one of my favourites, walks down our local beach like a normal little family.
“Kieran wasn’t in many photos as he was a typical teenager who liked to keep out the way of the camera I’m sure a lot of other parents can relate to this.”
Bradley struck up a beautiful friendship with Jermain Defoe and the Premiership footballer was at his bedside days before he died.
The first Christmas following Bradley’s death Gemma explained on Loose Women why the family would not celebrate a traditional festive period.
You can find out more about supporting and donating to The Bradley Lowery Foundation by visiting here.