The charity set up in memory of heroic Soham schoolboy Liam Fairhurst recently held its fifth birthday in the House of Commons.
Friends, family and supporters of the Liam Fairhurst Foundation gathered at The Speaker House earlier this month to pay tribute to an incredible teen who lived by the motto: “Life Is measured in achievement, not In years alone”.
Liam lost his battle with cancer aged just 14 – but his courage, selflessness and optimism lives on through the Liam Fairhurst Foundation, which helps young people affected by cancer, disabilities and illness.
The Foundation was founded by Liam’s brother Callum, himself a prolific fundraiser.
At the age of 10 Liam was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare cancer, in his left leg.
It was while receiving treatment that Liam befriended a fellow cancer sufferer, Jack Wilkinson.
Tragically Jack passed away in 2006, aged just 12.
Jack’s death spurred Liam to help other child cancer sufferers, so at age 11, he did a sponsored one mile swim, despite having lost over three-quarters of his thigh muscle in his left leg, meaning he could barely walk 100 yards.
Determined to complete the swim, Liam raised a staggering £13,000.
Not content with his courageous achievements, Liam then appeared on ITV’s Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway, persuading a panel of millionaires to donate £50,000 towards a luxury caravan so that families affected by cancer could have short breaks away from hospital.
Liam continued his prolific fundraising while undergoing numerous courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations, spending three bouts in intensive care.
In March 2007, six days after Liam’s 12th birthday, tumours were discovered in both his lungs. Within months, his condition was diagnosed as terminal.
Refusing to accept his prognosis, Liam and his family sought second options.
At the time he was re-diagnosed his fundraising stood at over £70,000.
By then, the whole community had got behind Liam’s fundraising – although he kept the fact that his condition was terminal secret because he didn’t want people feeling sorry for him.
Liam lost his battle with cancer on June 30, 2009, aged just 14.
By that point he had raised a staggering £340,000, and a further £7million by heading a campaign for charity.
He had received numerous awards, including the Diana Award (2007) and Child of Courage (2008) and impressed leading figures including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
For more about the Liam Fairhurst Foundation click here.
Thank you to Mark Fairhurst for the photographs.