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Kirsty Howard who inspired celebrities and world leaders alike has died aged 20

Kirsty 2Kirsty Howard was a courageous fundraiser who inspired celebrities and world leaders alike has died aged 20, defying doctors who gave her just weeks to live at the age of four.
Kirsty Howard, who was born with her heart back to front, died in the early hours of Saturday surrounded by her family.

Kirsty was the figurehead of Kirsty’s Appeal, a charitable foundation in her name, created to raise £5 million for Francis House, the hospice where she received care. In October 2006, the appeal announced that it had reached its initial target figure of £5,000,000. Kirsty took part in numerous fundraising efforts, which gained national support and attention.

In 2001, Kirsty was the mascot for the 2002 World Cup qualifying match between England and Greece. Commentator John Motson called her “the bravest person on the pitch”, as she accompanied David Beckham onto the pitch with her 20 kg oxygen tank.

In 2002, Kirsty, along with Beckham, presented the Jubilee Baton to Queen Elizabeth II during the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In 2003, Kirsty started the inaugural Great Manchester Run, and took part in the race herself, via wheelchair, wearing the Number 1 vest. She has continued to do this throughout the history of the event.

In 2006, Richard Fleeshman sang for Kirsty on ‘Soapstar Superstar’ and donated his £200,000 prize money to The Kirsty Appeal.

Kirsty was awarded the Helen Rollason Award by the BBC in 2004, for her courage and determination in her fundraising efforts. She also received the Child of Courage Award (2001) and the Pride of Britain Award (2002). For her efforts in fundraising, Manchester City Council gave Kirsty their Young Citizen of the Year award in 2007. In recognition of her contributions to her community, Kirsty was awarded the Diana Award; the certificate given to her by Russell Watson at the secondary school she attended.

Kirsty’s new fundraising target was to raise a further £2,000,000 to build an extension to the Francis House Hospice. This will not be named after her, but dedicated to her.

Kirsty from Wythenshawe, who celebrated her 20th birthday last month, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday suffering from a kidney infection.

Despite battling with her trademark courage, she suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday morning and was transferred to the intensive care unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Tributes can be left Below

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