Family and friends run in honour of late Gospel Oak teen who died from liver disease
PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 July 2013
The family and friends of a teenager who died from a rare liver disease have taken part in a 10km run to honour his memory and raise funds for charity.
Leo Barron, of Hemmingway Close, Gospel Oak, died a year ago aged just 18 after suffering from Budd-Chiari syndrome.
During his illness, Leo received support from the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), which helps families and young people affected by the condition and funds medical and social research.
Members of his family, including his father Xenis Stylianou, his aunt and two uncles, along with fellow pupils from Haverstock School, completed the British 10k London Run on July 14.
Mr Stylianou said: “It went really well. There was a great atmosphere with all the spectators cheering us on.
“Considering everything Leo went through, he was a very determined and very outgoing character who made friends easily.”
His uncle Stephen Barron added: “CLDF was a charity which meant a lot to Leo.
“He even took part in the British 10K himself three times as he was so determined to raise funds for the foundation, which he felt had given him so much support.
“Leo faced many health problems but he never gave up. He was and remains an inspiration to everyone who knew him.”
The event saw about 25,000 people run through the centre of the capital in baking heat.
Starting at Piccadilly, they passed landmarks including St James’s Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, before finishing in Whitehall.
For the race, Leo’s family and friends wore T-shirts with his photo, showing him with his medal after finishing last year’s event.
Together they have raised £2,000 for CLDF from sponsorship and are hoping to increase that amount with more fundraising activities planned at Haverstock School in Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm.
Mr Barron added: “Haverstock School, which Leo attended, has been supporting us by holding fundraising events over the past few weeks and we are very grateful to them.”
The charity, which is the only one of its kind in the world, was set up in 1980 by the parents of Michael McGough, who died before be could receive a liver transplant.
n For more information visit www.childliverdisease.org. Visit www.justgiving.com/remember/55905/LEO-BARRON to donate.