14 year old Hayley has never missed an episode of The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE).
And, as the show had given her something to focus on during hospital stays after she was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, it was no surprise when Hayley chose as her wish to visit the set of the ITV show…
When Hayley arrived at Sugar Hut, TOWIE star Lauren Pope was waiting to meet her – Hayley was speechless! Then in walked her favourite character, Joey Essex…all Hayley could say was “I love you”! She spent some time chatting to Joey about how his skinny trousers weren’t skinny enough, before meeting Mick Norcross and Charlie King. She was then shown round Sam and Billy Faiers’ shop and watched Joey and James ‘Arg’ Argent film a scene. Joey and Arg then invited Hayley out for dinner – this nearly caused Hayley to burst with excitement! Her day ended with a tour of Essex – with stops at Joey’s flat and Arg’s house – before heading back to Sugar Hut, where she bumped into Diags and Tom Kilbey.
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Hayley said: “You know when a little kid meets Mickey Mouse – that’s what it was like meeting Joey! It was the best day of my life.”
Hayley, who is from Penarth in South Wales, was diagnosed with Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma last year after a chest X-ray which showed a shadow. She was called back for a second X-ray, and this one revealed the tumour under her rib. Hayley started chemotherapy in October, which caused her to lose her hair, then in March this year she had the tumour removed. She had chemotherapy every 21 days but regularly caught infections, which meant most of her time was spent in hospital. Hayley’s Mum, Sarah, said that the only time that she didn’t mind leaving Hayley in hospital was when TOWIE was on. Hayley is still recovering from surgery and will continue to have check-ups every three months for the next three years. Sadly, just a few months ago Hayley’s cousin passed away from a double brain tumour.
Sarah said: “Hayley is just getting her confidence back now and this will certainly give her a big boost as well as some very special memories after an extremely tough year. Her wish was above and beyond what we ever expected. The whole day was fantastic and we can’t thank everyone enough.”
Joey Essex said: “We had such a wicked day with Hayley, it was really great to meet her and show her round Essex! She’s a really brave and lovely girl and deserved to have a day to remember.”