Royal Marine sells service medals to fund cancer treatment for toddler he's never met

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A veteran who served in Iraq is selling three service medals to fund cancer treatment for a four-year-old girl he has never met.

Former Royal Marine Matthew Goodman, 35, is auctioning medals for service in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland and a campaign medal from Iraq to help pay £200,000 needed to treat Lottie Woods-John.

In June 2016, Lottie was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma when she fell ill after a holiday in Cornwall and a 12cm mass was found near her liver.

Her family say she has responded well so far to intensive chemotherapy and stem cell treatment, but the disease has a high risk of relapse and they want to send her for a clinical trial in the US.

The three medals, for service in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, are on sale this week

Putting the three medals on Ebay, where they have now attracted 22 bids, the leisure centre manager from Cheltenham, Gloucester, wrote: “I’m extremely lucky to have lived an enriching life so far, and hope to have many years ahead of me.

“For the last six weeks or so, I’ve been following the life of a little girl on Facebook. I don’t know her or her family.”

The father-of-one added: “My medals have a very personal meaning to me, as do every veteran’s medals, a meaning that nobody else can experience or value.

“The meaning of my medals will always be with me, and I’ve made many sacrifices to earn them.”

But, he said: “I hope to never have to experience being told that my child has cancer. I hope to not have to live every day facing the reality of outliving them. 

“I hope to never be forced to sacrifice seeing my child grow older on account of a vile disease.”

Lottie’s family received the news with delight, writing on Facebook that the sale “astounds” them.

“Throughout this journey, the one thing we’ve seen consistently is kindness of strangers, but never to this level,” they said.

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