Flashback: Johannah Deakin becomes patron of neuroblastoma charity Niamh’s Next Step
In January of this year, Louis Tomlinson’s mom Johanna (Jay) Deakin became the patron of Niamh’s Next Step, a charity founded by Chris and Sam Curry, the parents of Niamh who lost her battle with neuroblastoma at age 5 in May 2012. Niamh’s Next Step raises awareness and funds to fight neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer that claims the lives of more than 2000 children worldwide each year.
Johannah had met and befriended the Currys through Harry Styles’ mom Anne Twist, who had initially met them through the charity Believe in Magic. In October of 2015, Jay knew it was the Curry’s older daughter Hanna’s birthday and contacted the family to ask if they wanted to come to one of One Direction shows. The Currys with Hannah and a friend attended the OTRA show in Birmingham on October 15th where they met Louis Tomlinson and the rest of One Direction. The following day Louis tweeted in support of Niamh’s Next Step helping raising awareness for the charity.
A few months later Johannah accepted the invitation to become Niamh’s Next Step patron joining Northampton Saints players Ben Foden and Lee Dickson, cricket and radio personality Darren Gough and Westlife singer Shane Filan in representing and publicly supporting this Wellingborough-based charity.
Niamh’s father Chris said: “It is fantastic to have Johannah as a patron of Niamh’s Next Step, especially for us as a small Wellingborough-based charity.” He added “we have got some exciting plans for this year with Johannah and Louis.”
Unfortunately, Jay fell ill this year with an aggressive form of leukemia and ultimately passed away on December 7th 2016, unable to fulfill the plans with Niamh’s Next Step.
In memory of Jay we set up a fundraiser through JustGiving to benefit Niamh’s Next Step, in the hope to continue bringing awareness of this charity and the work they do supporting families with children affected by neuroblastoma. Donate if you can!