11-year-old battling leukaemia to toss coin at Wimbledon final


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The Independent Online

An 11-year-old who is battling leukaemia will today perform the coin toss at this year's historic Wimbledon men's singles final.

Elijah Ortiz-Herrera will toss the coin to decide whether Andy Murray or Roger Federer should serve first in the crunch match on Centre Court.

Elijah, from south London, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February 2010 and has to have a blood test every Monday, chemotherapy once a month, and lumbar punctures every three months.

He first started watching tennis four years ago, but struggles to play because his physical stamina has suffered due to his treatment.

Today will be his first time at Wimbledon and after the coin toss he will watch the match with his family, enjoying lunch and tea in the Competitors' Restaurant.

Elijah's mother Catherine said Elijah was "very excited, happy and overwhelmed" when he found out he would be doing the coin toss at today's final.

"He is now just as excited but also feeling a little bit nervous," she said.

Elijah is representing Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, a charity which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

Since it was established in 1986, the foundation has granted more than 7,800 wishes.