In memory of Johannah (Jay) Deakin, the strong selfless woman behind Louis’ charitable work
December 10th, 2016– Johannah (Jay) Deakin passed away on Wednesday December 7th, she was only 42 years old. To her family she was a mom, a daughter, a wife, to the world she was Louis Tomlinson’s mom and to the ones who are paying attention she was a strong, loving and selfless woman who gave so much to help others.
Jay fully appreciated the visibility she had as the mom of Louis Tomlinson, and was determined to use her privileged position to help bring awareness, funding and love where it was needed.
Jay was involved in all the charitable work that Louis has done through the years, in fact she was the driving force behind it both bringing to Louis’ attention families and individuals in need, and beautifully and lovingly executing acts of support and kindness that have helped so many. The formal and informal involvements of Johannah in charitable endeavors are countless, ranging from helping organizing events, to bringing awareness on social media, or to simply facilitating contacts of countless children and fans with Louis and the other members of One Direction. These contacts were either in the form of meetings back-stage or special video/audio messages.
Jay was a strong supporter of the charity Believe in Magic, a charity founded by brave Meg Bhari created in the belief that severe illnesses shouldn’t rob children of their most magical times, so the charity is designed to bring some of that magic, hope, and happiness back. Jay helped organized events for Believe in Magic such as Christmas parties and the Cinderella Ball in August of 2015, which was attended by Louis and Liam Payne as well. By looking at pictures and videos of the Cinderella Ball, one can truly appreciate the care Jay put into the work she did to support people, and especially children. The Cinderella Ball took place in the beautiful London Natural History Museum, which was tastefully and dreamily decorated for this special event. The attending children all wore formal wear with the girls dressed as fairies. All the children received gifts and were treated to a night of performances, dancing and delicious food. This event alone raised millions of pounds that went to this charity to support future events for children with terminal or grave illnesses.
Jay has also publicly supported Eden Dora Trust, a charity founded by the parents of Eden Dora affected by encephalitis, which brings education, awareness and support about this disease, a severe brain inflammation that can cause debilitating disabilities. Louis is a patron of this charity. Jay had also recently become the patron of Niamh’s Next Step, a charity founded by Sam and Chris Curry, the parents of Niamh who lost her battle with neuroblastoma in May of 2012 at age 5.
What was truly remarkable about Johannah though is that she became very personally invested in all the work she did to help families and individuals. She formed sincere friendships and followed up on these families as they struggled through challenges. One example of such personal bond is with Harvey Hext and his family. Harvey was a boy who had neuroblastoma and who had participated to a Christmas party organized by Believe in Magic and funded by Louis and his mom. At the party Harvey and his family met Jay who then talked about their story to Louis. Louis was moved by Harvey’s story as much as Jay and together they both made sure that the following year Harvey’s family was treated to special events, and was given gifts that helped create special memories. When Harvey’s health started to seriously deteriorate in October of 2015, Jay traveled to Bristol to visit him and his family. The visit was just a month before Harvey passed away on November 29th, 2015.
Jay’s personal touch in all the charitable work she did suggests that that’s not how she labeled it. She simply did what she could to help and care for others, in the believe that this is truly what makes life meaningful. This message that transpires from her actions is the legacy she leaves to her children, but also to all of us.
Please consider supporting the charities Jay supported through the years: Believe in Magic, Niahm’s Next Step, Eden Dora Trust, and A Sibling’s Wish. We are currently fundraising for Niham’s Next Step; to donate visit our JustGiving page. In memory of Jay, you can also donate to Bloodwise, a leukemia foundation which funds research and offers expert information and support.