BRAVE TEEN MEETS YOUTUBE STARS THE SIDEMEN
Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity treats Hailsham teen to meet & greet with celebrity YouTubers
Thirteen-year-old Ethan Holliman, from Hailsham, East Sussex, had the exclusive opportunity to meet celebrity YouTubers, The Sidemen, thanks to Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. Rays of Sunshine ambassadors, The Sidemen, took time out of filming for their YouTube channel to meet a group of children all living with serious illnesses, including Ethan, at the YouTube Space in London.
Ethan is currently living with a very rare disease known as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B). He was diagnosed with MEN2B before also being diagnosed with Metastatic Medullary Thyroid Cancer a year ago. Due to his condition, Ethan has had to undergo extensive surgery and regular hospital visits throughout the last couple years. As MEN2B comes with a high-risk form of cancer in early infancy, early diagnosis is vital to save lives. However, unfortunately for Ethan, he was not diagnosed until he was 12 and by then his cancer is incurable. Ethan’s family is now on a mission to help the Association of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases (AMEND) make more people aware of the condition and the early symptoms of the disease in the hope that other children with MEN2B are diagnosed at an earlier stage and have an improved chance of survival.
Despite everything that Ethan has been through at such a young age, he is an extremely positive and strong teenager who loves video games, especially Fortnite, and loves to watch The Sidemen on YouTube. Later this year in June, Rays of Sunshine will grant Ethan’s greatest wish to go to Disney World in Florida with his family. Once a child has a wish granted by Rays of Sunshine, they become part of the ‘Rays of Sunshine family’ and the charity continues to invite them along to events to create a positive distraction, reduce isolation and improve self-esteem. Knowing that Ethan loves YouTube and specifically The Sidemen, the charity invited him to be a part of this special event in London.
The Sidemen is a group made up of seven British YouTube personalities and avid gamers including: Simon Minter (Miniminter), JJ Olatunji (KSI), Harry Lewis (Wroetoshaw), Ethan Payne (Behzinga), Joshua Bradley (Zerkaa), Tobi Brown (TBJZL), and Vikram Barn (Vikkstar123). At the exclusive meet and greet event hosted at the YouTube Space in London, the YouTube stars spent the entire morning playing video games and chatting with the group of young boys. The group, who currently have more than 4.4 million subscribers on their YouTube channel, also gifted the wish children copies of their bestselling book, ‘Sidemen: The Book’, which they signed for them during the event.
Following the day, Jane, Ethan’s mum, said: “I really cannot thank Rays of Sunshine enough for inviting Ethan to meet The Sidemen. You have raised his spirits enormously. He was excited from the moment you phoned. The Sidemen were fantastic with all the boys. I couldn’t believe how long they were happy to spend with them. Ethan was absolutely in his element! I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy! He loved meeting them, especially them watching and cheering as he played Fortnite. Thank you so very much! We will treasure the memories you gave us.”
For more information about MEN2B and the Association of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases, please visit https://www.amend.org.uk/.