About Liam

About Liam

Liam Fairhurst was born on the 26th February 1995.

It was in July 2005 that Liam and his family’s life changed forever. After developing a limp Liam was taken to the local doctor, just days after the doctors appointment he was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare high grade soft tissue cancer, in his left leg. Liam coped with his diagnoses and treatment by making friends with other people in his situation on the ward, in the first year of treatment he made a friend called Jack Wilkinson. They shared their worst moments together, their stories of treatments and hours of laughter.

Sadly, aged just 12, Jack passed away in 2006. The passing of his friend inspired Liam to help others like him and like Jack – so he started fundraising. Liam chose to do a sponsored one mile swim and, aged 11, raised an astonishing £13,000. What was remarkable was at the time of the swim Liam had lost over three quarters of the thigh muscle in his left leg and could barely walk 100 yards! But Liam was determined telling his family “no matter how long it takes I’m not getting out of the pool till I’ve done it!”. He then went on to National Television in ITVs Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway where he persuaded a panel of five millionaires to part with £50,000 to purchase and equip a luxury caravan for families affected by cancer to be able to have short breaks away from hospital.

Whilst fundraising Liam underwent numerous courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations in an attempt to halt the illness. On three occasions Liam spent weeks in intensive care and on top of this was taking numerous supplements to keep his kidneys functioning.

During routine scans six days after Liam’s 12th birthday (March 2007) tumours were detected in both his lungs and within months Liam’s condition was regarded as terminal. Liam refused to accept the diagnosis and with his family’s support sought second opinions which on more than one occasion led to other treatment including chemotherapy, operations and radiotherapy. At the time he was re-diagnosed his fundraising stood at over £70,000 and his enthusiasm to continue fundraising was such that the local community took up his cause and started organising fundraising events in his name. Liam chose not to make it public that he was dying because he didn’t accept it and also didn’t want people feeling sorry for him.

Despite Liam’s continued optimistic look on life, he sadly lost his battle with cancer on the 30th June 2009. Towards the end of Liam’s life the toll of his illness was such that he was confined to a wheelchair. For most people that would have been enough, but despite everything Liam faced he had continued to help other children like him – so much so that at the time of Liam’s passing he was responsible for raising £340,000, and a further £7million by heading a campaign for charity.

Liam lived by one quote “Life Is Measured In Achievement, Not In Years Alone”.

Liam’s courage and optimism inspired thousands across the country. The foundation is Liam’s legacy.

Founder, Virgin Group

Richard Branson

“Liam was an incredible young man who achieved so much in his short 14 years on this earth. I’ll never forget meeting him – nor will the many people he helped through his amazing fund-raising. I am so deeply saddened for Liam’s family but I know that through their grief they must also be unbelievably proud of him. Liam truly was a Child of Courage and has left the most incredible legacy through all the good works he did for young people just like him.”

Russell Brand

“Liam Fairhurst you beautiful, brave young man,rest in peace.You are a wonderful example of compassion,dignity and strength even as you pass.”

Former Prime Minister

Gordon Brown

“Liam was a courageous young man who showed immense bravery in the face of his illness. It was a privilege to meet him – his dedication as a fund-raiser was an encouragement to us all and I am very proud of what Liam achieved. His courage will be a continuing inspiration to all those that knew him.”