F1 champion Max Verstappen surprises nine-year-old cancer survivor on STV

Harry Sinclair was surprised with a heart-warming message from his sporting hero as part of this year's STV Children's Appeal.

Three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen has taken time out of his busy schedule to send a surprise video message to a young superfan who recently overcame leukaemia.

In a heartwarming moment that will air as part of this year’s STV Children’s Appeal show on Friday, host Lorraine Kelly will surprise nine-year-old Harry Sinclair from Dunfermline with a specially-recorded message from his sporting hero, leaving the youngster lost for words.

In his message, Verstappen said: “Hi Harry, Max Verstappen here. I’ve heard your story and also how hard you and your sister have worked to raise money for the charity that helped you.

“I think you’re amazing and I also hear you’re a huge racing fan and an aspiring F1 driver, so thank you very much for all the support and I hope to see you in an F1 car very soon.”

As Harry takes it all in, his sister Grace asked “Can you believe that?” but the only reply a shell-shocked Harry can muster is “Oh jeez!”

Earlier in the show, Lorraine will introduce viewers to Harry and his inspiring personal journey.

Lorraine Kelly with Harry and Grace

In 2019, at just five years old, Harry was diagnosed with leukaemia and quickly started chemotherapy treatment.

Due to the high risk of infection, he missed out on what was meant to be his very first day of primary school.

During their hardest moments, Harry and his family received help from It’s Good 2 Give – a charity supported by the STV Children’s Appeal.

Since then, they’ve worked as volunteers to give back to the charity that offered them such invaluable support. After a three-year cancer battle, Harry received the all-clear in 2022.

Discussing the future, Harry says: “I’m cancer-free, my treatment’s done.

“Hopefully I won’t have to visit the hospital anymore. I would tell other people that good times are around the corner.”

F1 champion Max Verstappen

Harry’s story is just one of many being shared as part of STV’s annual TV fundraising event in aid of its Children’s Appeal.

The programme, hosted by Lorraine and STV’s Sean Batty, will broadcast from a custom-built studio at Glasgow charity Refuweegee’s city centre headquarters.

The charity’s slogan – “we’re all fae somewhere” – reflects its mission to ensure that families who have been forced to flee their homes arrive in Scotland to a warm welcome, and it has been supported in its efforts by funding from the STV Children’s Appeal. 

Along with Max Verstappen, other famous faces set to appear on the night include singer-songwriter Tom Walker, who will close the show with a world-exclusive first performance of his new single, Freaking Out.

Lorraine Kelly said: “Viewers can expect to be as inspired as we are by the charities and fundraisers that have done such amazing work this year.

“They’re all absolute gems and, as always, I’m delighted to get to know them.”

The STV Children’s Appeal 2023 airs on STV and STV Player at 9pm on Friday November 10.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code