17 March 2023

Harvey 2 Old Trafford: Boy, seven, takes on 40-mile walk for cousin with cancer

17 March 2023

A “kind-hearted” seven-year-old Manchester United fan is to walk from the children’s hospital in Liverpool where his cousin with cancer resides to Old Trafford Stadium to raise awareness for the “amazing” work it does.

Harvey Goodman’s seven-year-old cousin Zak was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer – which the family did not want to disclose – last June.

“Since then, he has lost all his hair and he’s gone through aggressive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and Alder Hey has pretty much looked after him the whole time,” Harvey’s 29-year-old mother, Naiomi, who works as a sales director told the PA news agency.

“What triggered the idea for the walk for Harvey was hearing how amazing Alder Hey had been – staff there are always on call when Zak needs anything.

“And he approached us and said he really wanted to do something for Zak.”

Harvey is to take on a 40-mile walk, starting at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – which is based in West Derby, Liverpool on April 1, and ending at Manchester United’s famous stadium – Old Trafford, on April 2.

He told PA that initially he wanted to walk from Wembley to Old Trafford, but that was “too long”.

“So I instead decided to walk from Alder Hey as Zak is there and Zak was really happy that I was doing this walk for him.”

Manchester United fan Harvey is to wear a top and coat adorned with the club’s logo, with the words ‘Harvey 2 Old Trafford’ on it, which he hopes will drum up support for the cause.

“My friends, family, some of my teachers, my aunties, my uncles and Man United legend Sammy Mcllroy will be on the walk with me”, added Harvey.

The youngster has been practicing for the challenge by going on walks and delving into numerous sporting pursuits.

“I’ve done some practice walks, I’ve been running, I do loads of kickboxing three times a week, I do football two times a week and biking”, he said.

When asked about what he is most looking forward to when the challenge finally begins, Harvey said: “Getting to Old Trafford.

“All my friends and family will be cheering for me and that will make me very happy.”

Initially, the family, who live in Manchester, set a target of £5,000, which was doubled within a few months and has also since been surpassed.

“We thought that was a really high figure and if we were to get anywhere near that, we’d be really over the moon”, Mrs Goodman said.

“And the fact that has now been surpassed is amazing.”

Harvey’s father – Matt Goodman, 42, who works as a business development manager, added that “it would be really good” to reach £20,000.

One of Harvey’s favourite comments on his JustGiving page was from an anonymous account, which read: “keep on being amazing Harvey! You’re an inspiration to us all”, and ended up not being very anonymous after all.

“It was really funny because it came from an anonymous account, but mum actually told me it was my grandma.”

Mrs Goodman added: “I think that was more because grandma did not know how to use JustGiving and leave a name.”

She also pointed out a particular comment which touched her.

“There was a comment from someone we didn’t know that saw the fundraiser, who said that her daughter got treated for heart surgery there and she wishes Harvey all the best and called him an absolute legend.”

Mr Goodman added: “It is nice to see the amount of people that have donated, including a lot of United fans, as Alder Hey is a great children’s hospital.”

In February, Harvey got to visit the hospital, in which he had a tour of the premises and got to see how his money would make a difference.

“Harvey was actually able to go on a virtual reality machine to look inside a heart,” Mrs Goodman said.

“He got a good feel of what they do and how incredible they are.”

Alder Hey said that “every step of Harvey’s epic walk, and every penny donated, will help to sprinkle a bit of magic at Alder Hey and we look forward to joining him on his challenge”.

Both of Harvey’s parents said that they are “immensely proud” of their son.

“He’s so kind-hearted, anything that comes up which allows him to do something to help, he’s always the first one to step forward,” Mrs Goodman said.

Harvey’s desire to help others extends to making sure other children believe that they can achieve anything, and has shared the words: “It’s alright, you can do this” to any young readers hoping to take on fundraising feats.

Harvey previously walked more than 16 miles from his school, Stockton Heath Primary School, to Old Trafford, raising almost £8,500 for his school playground and meeting former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mrs Goodman said that Harvey’s school has provided “amazing” support for the fundraiser, with headteacher Dan Harding adding: “Given how impressively Harvey coped with his challenge last year, I have absolutely no doubt that he will not only rise to this challenge, but will absolutely smash it.”

Pascale Harvie, president and general manager of JustGiving, said: “Harvey is such an inspiration to us all.

“At just seven years old he came up with and took on this huge challenge to raise vital funds to help his cousin and so many other children being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”

Harvey’s fundraiser can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harvey-2-oldtrafford

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