Making every day count
421. Luke Chapman
A young boy who was born with complex heart defects who is celebrating a national holiday every day of the year and has raised over £26,000 to help the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses come true.
Luke Chapman, 9, from Stockport, aimed to raise £25,000 over the course of year by 31 December for charity ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’, which grants the wishes of children living with a life threatening illness. He is organising an event every day of 2015 with a theme to coincide with what ‘national day’ it is to raise money after the charity helped his own family with a holiday to Centre Parcs.
Born with very complex heart defects, Luke has had a number of open heart surgeries starting from the age of just two weeks old. He has struggled with numerous serious infections and frequent lengthy hospital stays, taking medication every day. However, Luke is a happy and outgoing young boy with a love for Manchester United, Disney and Star Wars. His love for life led him to wanting to celebrate every ‘silly’ national holiday in 2015 after reading an article about all of them.
Luke has been sponsored for his national holiday campaign and has already achieved his target, having already raised £26,237. The celebrations have included national drinking straw day, national pop chart music day and national letter writing day. As part of his fundraising, Luke has been involved in a number of events, including a fire engine wash on National Fire Prevention Day and has even met David Beckham at a special UNICEF football match for children. Luke received his award at the Christmas tree lights switch at No 10 Downing Street with other Points of Light.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Luke has shown tremendous courage in facing his own health challenges and coming up with such a fun and unique way to help other children like him. Marking a different national day for a whole year is a huge commitment, and the money he has raised will make an incredible difference in the lives of other children. I am delighted to recognise Luke as a Point of Light.”
Luke said: “It was such an amazing surprise to meet the Prime Minister after I have always wanted to go behind those locked gates. I’m so happy and proud to have been given this award from him and hope to smash my target.”
Luke’s local MP, William Wragg, said:
“I’m delighted Luke has been recognised by the Prime Minister for all his charity work. He is an inspiration and credit to all who know him”.