A HEARTBROKEN community has rallied together in grief after a brave little boy lost his fight against a rare disease.
Leon Parker passed away aged 11 months on Saturday after battling D-Bifunctional Protein Deficiency, also known as BFD – a rare genetic condition.
Now members of the community have organised a fundraising day at Hamble Sports Ground this Saturday to help support devastated mum Kelly.
As previously reported, Leon’s condition meant his body was unable to break down fatty acids, resulting in cell damage due to toxic build-up.
He was diagnosed with the disease in November 2013 and doctors did not think he would live as long as he did.
Despite spending the majority of his short life in hospital, his mum created a wish list of days out and events to create happier memories, including a day out to Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park.
Leon passed away after contracting a chest infection and pneumonia.
“He was one strong little boy,” mum Kelly said. “He was a jolly baby boy who loved his bright lights – he loved to growl and he loved Mickey Mouse.
“He was definitely a fighter.”
She praised the community who have organised the events, including the Plough Inn in Bursledon, which will also hold a day on August 16.
She said: “The fundraising is absolutely brilliant. I have had lots of support from everyone – everyone has been brilliant.
“It is going to be a fitting memory for Leon and I would like to thank everyone who helped.”
This Saturday’s fundraising day has been organised by friends Michelle Ward and Shannon Gurr.
The day will include a football tournament with 60 teams, jumble sales, face painting, pony rides and stalls from 9.30am.
Michelle said: “It’s about raising money to help Kelly and raise awareness of the disease.”
Leon’s funeral will take place at St Mary’s Extra cemetery on July 15 at midday. Everyone should wear bright clothes on Kelly’s request.
Any businesses that would like to donate prizes for the fundraising day should contact Michelle on 07939 935120.