Many people would balk at the idea of doing a skydive on Friday 13th but not Liam Holmes. The 18 year old student from Andover will be doing his first skydive on Friday 13 April. He is aiming to raise £1,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and the date is a very special one for him.
“When I was seven I became very unwell and, after numerous tests, was diagnosed with acute liver failure“, explains Liam. “I was placed on the super urgent transplant list and was lucky enough to receive my liver transplant within hours – on Friday 13 April 2007. For me Friday 13th is a very lucky day.
“Not only did I receive fantastic treatment at King’s College Hospital, but I also had outstanding support from Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. They came to visit me in hospital and afterwards I was able to attend friendly, comforting support groups with other young people in my situation.
“I consider myself lucky. I haven’t looked back since then and although I never take anything for granted, I’m currently well, I’m studying electrical installation at Andover College, I love going to the gym, playing the piano and I only need to attend King’s once a year for a check-up. However, I have always wanted to give something back to CLDF because I know that they are there to support children and families coping with all aspects of childhood liver disease, including those who are in desperate need of a transplant. I remember what it was like to be that poorly and I know how much that support meant to me and my family.”
As something of a thrill seeker, a skydive was the obvious fundraiser for Liam and when he realised April 13 fell on a Friday this year it had to be on that day! The costs of the jump are being covered by Andover Leisure Centre, run by Places for People Leisure, where Liam is a regular at the gym.
General Manager, Ian Souch, commented: “We are thrilled to support such a fantastic cause. Liam has proved how brave he is over the past 11 years and we hope this will raise awareness and money for his chosen charity”.
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations so we are delighted and very grateful to hear what Liam has planned. It’s a wonderful way to mark a special anniversary and to make a real difference to other young people with liver disease. We wish him all the best for the day.”
You can support Liam’s skydive by going to his JustGiving page.
Photo caption: Liam Holmes (right) who is doing a skydive to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is pictured with Ian Souch, General Manager of Andover Leisure Centre, who are sponsoring him