A CHARITY campaigner has told of his ‘complete shock’ after being bestowed a special award for his fund-raising and awareness work.
Ian Leech, of Branston, is to be handed a Beacon of Hope award by the Lymphoma Association for his tireless work following the death of his daughter Mel from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, aged 20.
He has dedicated the award to his family, who have helped raise a staggering £27,000 in her memory.
He said: “I could not believe it when I got the letter – it was a total shock to me when my wife told me.
“It was quite timely that I receive news of the award now as it will be six years on Tuesday since Mel was diagnosed and it would have been Mel’s birthday on Monday.
“This award is for her and her sister Becky, who has always been very supportive of what I have done.
“I should also thank my wife Julie for her support and this is really why it is an award for our family, I am just the front man.
“It is a great acknowledgment and comes not long after we found out that we had raised an incredible £27,000 in memory of Mel.
“I will always continue to raise money and do anything I can to help the Lymphoma Association.”
Mr Leech will be presented with the award at a special awards ceremony on September 12 at the Museum of London.
This weekend will see Mr Leech and Becky tackle a bike ride in aid of Mel’s birthday before stepping up his training ahead of a London to Paris bike ride in September.
He added: “It is going to be a hectic few weeks but it will all be worth it in the end. The only fear now is injury but we are careful and know our limits.
“I would also like to once again thank anyone who had put their hand in their pocket and donated.”
If you would like to donate to Mel’s fund or find out more, visit www.mad4mel.co.uk/