Speaking on the official Preston North End club podcast, midfielder John Welsh spoke about the special bond he formed with Jorgie Rae Griffiths, a young PNE fan who is suffering from Neuroblastoma.
The family are trying to raise vitals funding for the three-year-old to be able to receive life-saving treatment in America, with initial fundraising efforts already allowing Jorgie to start her treatment in the States.
Jorgie was the mascot for the Lilywhites game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and before the game, Welsh described meeting the little girl for the first time.
“I first met Jorgie in the dressing room and she was telling me about her hat and getting a bike off her mum. She is a really special girl and made me smile.
“Obviously, we went out to the game and she was a bit worried about the noise and stuff like that. I just picked her up and held her in my arms and she was fine then.
“She was constantly looking out for her mum and it was a really special moment for me to meet someone like that, who has an impact on you.”
A couple of weeks later, Welsh went to meet her once again at home after their initial meeting and he described just how much of an impact she had on him.
Welsh said: “I went down to meet her and the family before she set off for America. She was just the nicest little girl you could ever meet.
“Sometimes when you meet kids, they need to be told who you are and what you do but as soon as the door opened, she was like ‘John! Come in and see this!' It was brilliant and put a big smile on my face.
“The whole situation really touched me, meeting her and how positive, loving and funny she was. That’s probably the reason why I want to get more involved and meet the family and do as much as possible to help them and make sure she gets the treatment she needs. They really deserve it.”
The club are selling 20 signed matchworn third kit shirts from last season to try and raise money for Jorgie. Currently, the club has raised over £1,500 so far on the eBay auction with the auction ending at 8pm on Sunday 8th April.
To try and purchase one of these shirts and help the cause, click here to vist the club's eBay page.
When speaking about the £200,000 needed for Jorgie’s treatment for the next two years, Welsh commended the efforts made by the club and appealed to the fans to try and help this cause.
“The club have done so much for the family and they have expressed their thanks to the football club for what they are doing.
“If anyone sees anything that can help the family, I urge you just to help because she is a lovely little girl and they’re such a nice family.
“With what they are going through, you wouldn’t believe how positive they are as people. It something that really warms your heart.”
You can show your support by donating directly to the family’s Just Giving page by clicking here.