Kirsty Howard, British fundraiser, Died at 20

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Kirsty Howard was born on September 20, 1995, and passed away on October 24, 2015.

Howard was a British woman, most notable for her charity work.

Howard was the figurehead of Kirsty’s Appeal, a charitable foundation in her name, created to raise £5 million for Francis House, the hospice where she received care.

In October 2006, the appeal announced that it had reached its initial target figure of £5,000,000.

Howard took part in numerous fundraising efforts, which gained national support and attention.

Howard was born in Manchester with an exceptionally rare condition in which her heart is back to front, causing the misplacement of her internal organs.

The condition, a form of situs ambiguus, is inoperable, and requires extensive treatment, including a constant oxygen supply.

Howard was the only person in the UK, and only the second in the world, diagnosed with this condition. In February 1999, she was given only six weeks to live, but defied the odds.

In 2001, Howard was the mascot for the 2002 World Cup qualifying match between England and Greece.

Commentator John Motson called her “the bravest person on the pitch”, as she accompanied David Beckham onto the pitch with her 20 kg oxygen tank.

In 2002, Howard, along with Beckham, presented the Jubilee Baton to Queen Elizabeth II during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In 2003, Howard started the inaugural Great Manchester Run, and took part in the race herself, via wheelchair, wearing the Number 1 vest.

She has continued to do this throughout the history of the event.

In 2006, Richard Fleeshman sang for Kirsty on ‘Soapstar Superstar’ and donated his £200,000 prize money to The Kirsty Appeal.

Kirsty was awarded the Helen Rollason Award by the BBC in 2004, for her courage and determination in her fundraising efforts.

She also received the Child of Courage Award (2001) and the Pride of Britain Award (2002).

For her efforts in fundraising, Manchester City Council gave Kirsty their Young Citizen of the Year award in 2007.

In recognition of her contributions to her community, Howard was awarded the Diana Award; the certificate given to her by Russell Watson at the secondary school she attended.

Howard’s new fundraising target was to raise a further £2,000,000 to build an extension to the Francis House Hospice.

This will not be named after her, but dedicated to her.

On 24 October 2015, a spokesperson from The Kirsty Club announced that Howard had died.

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