Martial arts tribute to a ‘pink princess’ + touching tribute video

Herald Series: Ben Richardson, Ady Burton, Virginia Richardson and Viv Burton         Picture: OX65609  Aimee Kirkham Buy this photo Ben Richardson, Ady Burton, Virginia Richardson and Viv Burton Picture: OX65609 Aimee Kirkham

FRIENDS of tragic teenager Leah Graham are helping to keep her fighting spirit alive by raising money for a charity in her name. The first fundraiser for Leah’s Wish will be a weekend of martial arts, knife defence and body combat to raise money for the charities she chose before she died.

Leah, from Abingdon, pictured, died on October 31 aged 17, after suffering all her life from cystic fibrosis.

A total of 400 people flocked to her pink and purpled-themed funeral in November to pay tribute to the girl they dubbed the Pink Princess.

Now, her mum Selina Jeacock has started a charity, Leah’s Wish, to increase awareness of cystic fibrosis and raise money for the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where Leah was treated, and the Harefield Hospital in London – the last place where she lived.

Leah’s Wish will also raise money for the charities who supported her and her family through her illness, CF Families and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Family friend Viv Burton is now organising the inaugural fundraiser for Leah’s Wish, Leah’s Fitness Freakout – a weekend of martial arts, knife defence, street dance and Zumba.

Mrs Burton’s daughter Jodie was a life-long friend of Leah’s. The pair went to Rush Common primary school together and Fitzharry’s secondary school.

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Mrs Burton, who runs Southeast Workwear in Abingdon with her husband Ady, said: “We see Selina a lot and I think she is such a strong person. She want to make keep Leah’s memory alive.

“We thought if we can help in any way it would be nice to do and fun for the girls. It is going to be about having fun because Leah was always such a lot of fun.

“It will also to help keep Selina going. This is probably going to be her hardest year.”

The fundraising fitness weekend will be held at Can Do Martial Arts in Audlett Drive, Abingdon, on April 5 and 6.

Visitors will be able to make a minimum donation of £5 to stay all day and take as many classes as they like in martial arts as well as spin, zumba, street dance and even burlesque dancing.

There will also be beauty treatments and a cake sale.

Mrs Burton’s husband Ady had the idea as he knows Ben and Virginia Richardson who run the martial arts academy.To find out more go to http://tinyurl.com/nh5kw56

  • Watch this touching tribute video to Leah

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