A north Northumberland woman will be saying This Is For Adam as she leaps from 10,000ft, inspired by her brother who died aged just 11.
Adam Lawton, who had a very rare congenital disorder called Williams syndrome, passed away in 2010.
This summer, his big sister Jessica, 22, along with partner Rhys Ainslie, 23, will take on a 10,000ft skydive over the Isle of Wight for the charity that supports people with Williams, which occurs randomly and affects one in 18,000 people in the UK.
The fund-raising leap for a charity that is extremely close to Jessica and her family’s hearts takes place on Tuesday, August 8.
“Unfortunately in 2010, my family and I, suffered the tragic and untimely death of my beautiful young brother Adam,” said Jessica, from Thrunton.
“Adam had Williams syndrome. I would never use the words ‘suffered from’ the condition, because he didn’t. Adam lived the happiest life I could ever think of.
“He was musical, he loved football – especially Newcastle United, he loved his friends and family, and was definitely a hit with the ladies. He could throw his hand to anything.”
The skydive taking place on the Isle of Wight is also of significance as it’s an extremely special place for the Lawton family.
“We have been going every year for as long as I can remember,” Jessica said. “It was also Adam’s most favourite place in the world and was his last holiday he spent with us.”
Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone.
It is characterised by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning challenges. These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.
Jessica said: “The Williams Syndrome Foundation offers amazing support for families, children or adults that have the condition and if they need any information or support regarding the syndrome.
“It’s run by parents, for parents, and it supports research into the educational, behavioural, social, scientific and medical aspects of the syndrome.”
Jessica, who works at the Potted Lobster in Bamburgh, has a target of raising £500, but ‘would love to smash this out of the water’ and she is also trying to drum up support using the hashtag #ThisIsForAdam on social media.
You can sponsor Jessica’s efforts at http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-mae-lawton
Adam touched many lives during his 11 years, for example, his memory lives on at Barndale House School in Alnwick where the boat My Adam forms part of the play area.
He also made an appearance on television after filming an episode of the CBeebies show Something Special, featuring his favourite man, Mr Tumble (Justin Fletcher), in May 2010, just a month before his death.
The episode saw Adam show Justin how to sail a boat and see the seals on the Farne Islands, but tragically the youngster never got to see himself on TV.
When the show was released, it was dedicated to Adam and later in 2010, when Something Special won a BAFTA Children’s Award, it too was dedicated to him.