Mum gets close to fulfilling daughter's dying charity wish

Selina Jeacock with a picture of her daughter Leah Graham

Selina Jeacock with a picture of her daughter Leah Graham

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

LEAH GRAHAM’S final wish of a charity to support teenagers with cystic fibrosis is a step closer to becoming reality.

Her mother, Selina Jeacock, has now raised the £5,000 she needs to officially register Leah’s Wish as a charity.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferer Leah, who was dubbed “Abingdon’s pink princess” for her brightly-coloured hair, died on October 31 last year.

The 17-year-old was diagnosed with the disease, which clogs the lungs with mucus, in childhood. Some 400 people attended her funeral in Abingdon in November last year.

On Sunday, staff from Stewarts Coaches – where Leah’s aunt Helen Jeacock works – ran in Reading’s Green Park 10k race, bringing the total raised to more than £5,000.

Leah’s mum, who lives in Buscot Drive, Abingdon, said she was “over the moon”.

She added: “Leah always said she wanted to set something up to help other children with CF.

“Her wish was for this charity so be set up, so for me to be able to do this is massively important to me.

“Hopefully she is keeping an eye on us and seeing what’s going on.”

Ms Jeacock, 41, said the charity’s primary goal will be to provide emotional support and advice to CF families, including helping to pay for luxuries like holidays.

The charity will also fund new equipment at the hospitals where Leah stayed – Melanie’s ward for adolescents at the John Radcliffe, and the Harefield in London.

Ms Jeacock, who hopes to register the charity soon, said the move will encourage more businesses to donate and give her legitimacy to contact CF families.

Leah’s aunt Helen said the CEO of Stewarts Coaches, Andy Cotton, was keen to help the charity.

She said: “I’ve been here eight years, so Andy went through the upset when Leah was poorly.

“He wanted to continue Leah’s name and legacy and raise more awareness of cystic fibrosis and the dreadful things it does.

“What Selina has had to go through is dreadful, but she has dealt with it in such a positive way.

“Until the charity is registered it is very difficult for people to donate to us.”

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