A charity set up in Leeds by footballer Billy Sharp and his girlfriend in memory of their son who died aged just two days old has raised more than £50,000 in its first year.
The Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation was formed in January last year to make a difference to families affected by gastroschisis, a condition causing babies to be born with organs outside their body, which is usually picked up by week 14 of the pregnancy.
As well as raising money to fund research into the condition, the charity is also hoping to raise awareness and is campaigning for better care of pregnant mothers carrying babies with gastroschisis.
Nottingham Forest player Sharp and his partner Jade Fair have been working tirelessly since the foundation launched in 2012 following Luey’s death from the condition and are delighted to have raised £53,000 within the first year.
Jade, now chief executive of the foundation, said: “Billy and I are incredibly passionate about the charity and we are thrilled with the total since we established the charity.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received since Luey passed away and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the charity. All the donations that the charity receives go directly into funding research into gastroschisis, which will hopefully make a difference to babies and families affected by the condition in the future.
“We are planning a number of exciting events in 2013 and we hope that this year will be another successful year for the charity.”
The condition is normally treated with surgery.
Parts of the UK have some of the highest incidences of the condition of anywhere in the world, with up to one in every 2,000 babies affected. Work to raise money has included selling T-shirts.
For more information about the Leeds-based Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation or gastroschisis, visit www.ljsfoundation.org.uk.