Feel-Good Story of the Week: Lionel Messi Pays 12-Year-Old's Medical Bills

Mohamed Al-HendyCorrespondent IMay 13, 2012

After the recent accusation of racism directed towards Lionel Messi, it's good to see his name in the papers for a much more noble act.

Here's the story, courtesy of Goal.com:

Waleed Kashash, who was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), had dreamt of beating the disorder to make the grade as a footballer, but the cost of his treatment threatened to destroy his hopes.

However, a woman named Soad al-Affani decided to notify Messi of the youngsters' illness, to which the Argentine replied by stating that he would cover his costs of 3000 dirham (€208) every 15 days until he becomes 18.

Messi then took a photo of himself holding Waleed's T-shirt and wrote a message for him to be strong and with all of his love.

GHD is a rare condition that affects approximately one in 3800 child births, while in adulthood, symptoms are felt in roughly 10 per million.

For those of you who aren't aware, the very same condition threatened to scupper Lionel Messi's career from an early age.

At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, and coming from a poor family, his parents did not have enough to cover the cost of the treatment, which was roughly $900 a month. 

Even his local club, River Plate, were not willing to cover the cost, despite showing interest in Messi's progress. It was not until Barcelona showed interest in Messi and invited him to join the club's academy that Messi was able to afford the treatment he needed.

It's good to see that Messi recognizes how fortunate he was to have gotten the help he needed when he was a kid, and in turn is helping a kid who faces practically the exact same problem. 

The only question left to answer is this: Is Waleed Kashash the next Lionel Messi?