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Community Hero: Norwich City v Newcastle United

15 August 2019

15-year-old Lewis Atkins is our Community Hero for our Premier League fixture with Newcastle and will bring out the match ball ahead of kick-off, with younger brother Luke.

Lewis is from Dereham and since he was a baby has bravely battled cancer four times.

At just four months old, Lewis was diagnosed with retinoblastoma and by the age of three he had to have his right eye removed. As is often the case with retinoblastoma survivors, Lewis developed another form of cancer, osteosarcoma, in his left leg and undertook yet more chemotherapy and surgery to replace his femur with a metal bone.

Last year, a scan showed a similar problem had developed in his right leg and another operation left him with metal bones in both legs.

Since then, Lewis has undergone another round of chemotherapy to tackle nodules that had spread to his lungs.

In positive recent news, Lewis has completed his treatment and has been back at school enjoying life with his friends.

He has received support from the community through a fundraising football match, which featured Norwich City’s own Todd Cantwell, a Dereham boy himself.

Lewis and his family received a surprise this week when he and younger brother Luke were invited by the Community Sports Foundation to join the official first team photo for the 2019-20 season at the Lotus Training Centre in Colney.

Todd welcomed the family and led the boys over to the meet the squad and Canaries Head Coach Daniel Farke, before taking their seats for the official snap.

Lewis’s mum Kelly said afterwards: “It was an amazing experience meeting the team and the boys loved having their photos taken. Lewis was quite star struck and overwhelmed by it all but we can’t thank everyone enough for inviting us.

“Saturday is going to be a such a great day for them and it will be a once in a lifetime experience to bring out the match ball.”

After the photo, the Community Sports Foundation’s Emma Fletcher invited Lewis to bring out the match ball ahead of the Canaries’ home opener against Newcastle.

Please join us in giving Lewis a fantastic reception; everyone at Norwich City Football Club hopes Lewis and his family enjoy the day at Carrow Road.

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