Foot­ball play­ers and com­mu­nity rally in sup­port of ill young­ster

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los and Danielle Jarvis Watch the video at: mt druitt­stan­

A ST Clair boy who needs life­sav­ing surgery is touched by how many peo­ple have dug deep to help his fam­ily raise $100,000 to cover the cost of his op­er­a­tion.

Ziad Soltani, 12, told The Stan­dard yes­ter­day he was sur­prised how gen­er­ous the re­gion was.

“It makes me grate­ful that I have such a good com­mu­nity, and I’m thank­ful that so many peo­ple are sup­port­ing me,” Ziad said.

The young­ster was pos­i­tive ahead of his Novem­ber 14 surgery, where top neu­ro­sur­geon Dr Char­lie Teo will at­tempt to re­move his grow­ing brain tu­mour.

Ziad has un­der­gone two oper­a­tions and was last week told he would be paral­ysed in 12 months, and dead in five years, if the tu­mour was not taken out.

A GoFundMe page was cre­ated last week by fam­ily friend Krissy Stimp­son and Mitchell Beggs-Mowczan, an­other sup­porter of the St Clair Comets 12/1s player.

Res­i­dents, sport­ing clubs and the wider com­mu­nity were touched by Ziad’s story and do­nated al­most $10,000 in the first 16 hours of the fundrais­ing cam­paign.

Ms Stimp­son said, on be­half of Ziad’s mother Trudie Soltani, that she was “blown away”.

“She gets teary just to see what peo­ple are do­ing for her son,” Ms Stimp­son said.

Through it all, Mr Beggs-Mowczan, of Ersk­ine Park, tried to cheer up Ziad, and or­gan­ised for some NRL stars to cre­ate a “get well” video for the young boy.

A Moun­ties Ron Massey Cup player, he called on men he had played with or against, in­clud­ing Pan­thers Bryce Cartwright and Dallin Watene-Zelez­niak, and asked them to record a video for the sick Comets player.

“I was a trainer for Ziad’s foot­ball team and got to know the fam­ily quite well,” Mr Beggs-Mowczan said.

“He used to watch all of my games ... I got to know how much he loved and adored his rugby league.

“He is a mas­sive Bull­dogs fan. He was re­ally ex­cited to see Michael (Lichaa) at the end ...Ziad’s a sweet kid.”

Comets pres­i­dent Mick Hig­gins said the club would sup­port the fam­ily how­ever it could.

Young rugby league player Ziad Soltani has a brain tu­mour and surgery is set to cost $100,000.

NRL stars Michael Lichaa (Bull­dogs), Bryce Cartwright (Pan­thers), Lou Good­win (Raiders) and Dallin Watene-Zelez­niak (Pan­thers) were in the heart­warm­ing clip.

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