A Rotherham United fan has built a Sheffield Wednesday themed arcade machine for a young man with a rare form of bone cancer.
Craig Ramage, owner of Mancave Machines, said he wanted to help Callum Rodgers, 23, who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing Sarcoma in August this year.
He said: “Cancer has no colours.
“It’s not something I’ve done for publicity. It’s something I’ve done to help Callum, and after getting to know his dad Rick over the years and the things he’s done.”
Callum’s dad Richard Rodgers, 53, travelled to Ukraine in March following the outbreak of the war with Russia to take supplies to refugee centres, and Craig said he wanted to give something back to Rick.
He said: “There was something good there that I could do for him like how he’d been doing good for other people.”
Richard and Craig only knew each other from twitter, where they exchanged tweets about bikes and football.
Craig decided to build the machine after seeing Richard tweet about building his son an outhouse to help with his recovery from chemotherapy.
Richard said: “What Craig did was truly incredible, we’ve never been in a position where someone’s offered that type of help.
“I’m just blown away by his generosity. I’m blown away by his kindness. He’s just been amazing and I’m lucky to have such good friends.”
Callum is a Sheffield Wednesday fan “through and through”, and was delighted with the machine.
Craig said: “Callum’s face absolutely lit up. The best thing for me was that Rick said he did not come out of that shed until nearly quarter past midnight. And he had to peel them off playing games on it so they could have something to eat.
“So this kind of took his mind off of the day before, which is literally what it’s all about – to help him with the recovery.”
Ewing Sarcoma is extremely rare, and Rick said he understands there are only 26 people being treated in the UK at the moment.
Due to common symptoms like joint pain, Rick said it was often missed or misdiagnosed. Callum was only diagnosed after a chance accident where his arm popped out its socket while go-karting. He subsequently went for an x-ray, which led to a CT scan and his eventual diagnosis.
Rick described the moment the family were told: “It was the most painful day of my entire existence.
“I’m a man’s man, but my lad and my daughter are my world. On that day when they tell you it’s a malignant form of cancer, it sends you into a world of utter chaos because your world is just literally falling apart.”
The Sheffield Wednesday fan also praised his son’s resilience.
He said: “Callum’s coping and fighting mechanism is absolutely top dollar, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s doing all the right things. He’s following all the right advice.”
Rick and Craig are currently trying to get Callum’s favourite player, Lee Gregory, to sign the cabinet. Craig said he would even drive the cabinet to the training ground himself.