Bal (mum), Jake, Rays of Sunshine volunteer Tash
17-year-old Jake, from North London, had his greatest wish granted when he met Mesut Ozil at the Arsenal v Everton game last Sunday at the Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal player has been a Rays of Sunshine ambassador since 2018 and regularly gives up his time to help the children’s charity grant magical wishes to brighten the lives of brave and deserving seriously ill children across the UK, just like Jake.

Jake was diagnosed in January 2019 with Astrocytoma Left Hemiplegia and has had to endure surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. His chemotherapy is ongoing and surgery resulted in weakness down the teen’s left side and having to use a wheelchair, but he remains positive and smiley. Jake’s illness has not stopped his love for football. Football and Arsenal mean the world to him and from a young age, his dream was to become a professional footballer.

Ozil and Jake

To make the 17-year-old’s wish come true, Mesut invited Jake to watch the match from his box at the Emirates Stadium, where he got to watch the action from one of the best seats in the house. Whilst in the box, Mesut’s wife, Amine gifted Jake with a signed shirt from the Arsenal player. After the match, Jake got to meet Ozil at the stadium.

After his wish, Jake’s mum, Bal, said:

“Jake lives, breathes and eats football. The wish was absolutely incredible and beyond all our expectations. We had a great day and felt very spoilt. Jake was the happiest I have seen him in a long time! Ozil’s family were so lovely and kind to us. We are so grateful to you all for a truly memorable day.”

Bal (mum), Jake and Amine

Mesut added:

“It was an honour to have Jake and his mum as special VIP guests at the match on Sunday. It’s always an honour to meet such brave and inspiring children and work with Rays of Sunshine to grant magical wishes. It always makes me happy to be able to make a difference and put a smile on the children’s faces.”

Jake watching the match

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 www.raysofsunshine.org.uk.