Louise and #TeamEvan, from Derry in Northern Ireland, have raised over £15,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Just two months after losing five members of her family in a tragic accident, Louise took on this incredible fundraising feat in honour of one of her sons, who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
You can read more about Louise’s story here.
Earlier this year, ITV regional news programmes asked viewers to nominate inspirational fundraisers in their area – and Louise was nominated.
Seventeen finalists – including Louise – were selected by judges from each ITV region. Now, the Pride of Britain judging panel have the hard task of choosing the overall winner.
Louise and members of #TeamEvan will attend a glittering Pride of Britain Awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House in London, where the winner of the ITV Fundraiser of the Year award will be announced.
Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the awards attract an audience of around five million viewers every year in a primetime slot on ITV – making it the highest rated awards show of its kind on British television.
It was the young mother’s ability to transform her personal tragedy into a feat of courage and her generosity of spirit that stood out to the judging panel including gold medal winning Paralympian Michael McKillop.
Louise James said:
My involvement with the charity started when Evan was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of three, we never let Evan have an illness, he was Evan, he was his own wee character and his illness never ever got him down.
It’s not for me, it’s for this town and it’s for my son and my family. I feel like I’m not the only person grieving, everybody is grieving with me and I will fight for as long as I can to help other boys with Evan’s condition.
Robert Meadowcroft, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
For her courage and her resolve to do something positive to help others during an unimaginably difficult time, we believe Louise James is wholly deserving of a Pride of Britain Award.
It’s difficult to imagine the courage it must have taken Louise to brave the crowds and the media. She resolved to run, in memory of her loved ones, and with a devoted group of supporters alongside her, in order to raise awareness of the muscle-wasting condition that affected Evan – Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Around 2,500 in the UK have this life-limiting, incurable condition, which causes muscles to weaken and waste, leading to increasing disability.
We want to wish Louise the best of luck on Tuesday.
The 2016 Pride of Britain Awards will be screened on ITV on Tuesday, November 1 at 8pm.