Bradley Lowery fought through the pain barrier to make it to the Stadium of Light for what is likely to be 'best friend' Jermain Defoe's last home game.
The youngster - who is battling childhood cancer neuroblastoma - was carried onto the pitch by the England striker ahead of the match against Swansea City yesterday.
Bradley was invited to the game as mascot and appeared on the cover of the match programme, with the proceeds going to the Bradley Lowery fund. He wore a Sunderland shirt with the message 'thank you SAFC and fans' on the back.
Earlier this week, his family revealed the youngster is likely to spend his sixth birthday in hospital as doctors fight to slow down the speed at which tumours are growing inside his body.
Mum Gemma said today Bradley had been having a tough time but had been determined to make it to the game.
"He is in quite a lot of pain but he has insisted he wanted to go to the match," she said.
The Stadium of Light south west corner applauds Bradley
"I don't think we will be able to stop for the whole game but he wanted to go and for Jermain to carry him."