Pink For Leah


Tomorrow is a big day for young Leah Graham. In case you’re not familiar with her story, pretty much everything you need to know is here.  She’s an Abingdon teen who, through all of her life, refused to just quit. We need to honour her.

It’s rare that I’m moved by someone. It’s ever more rare, that the ‘movee’ is someone young enough to be my daughter.  But that’s exactly the case here. Leah  Graham first came to my attention via Twitter. A group of her friends had decided to try and cheer up their friend, who was dying from the  effects of Cystic Fibrosis, and they launched a campaign, via Twitter, to get her idol to tweet her.

#riritweetleah didn’t result in the hoped-for tweet from the Barbadian idiot. It did, however, succeed in highlighting an amazing story, of selfless work to raise awareness of various charities, brave fighting against a terminal illness, and of capturing the heart of a nation.

I’m very proud of the part that you, my readers, played in her story.  And the gifts that you sent to her, and the messages you left for her, are testament to just how much she engulfed all of our hearts.

As a  result of Leah’s hard work in raising awareness of the issue, her mum Selina will soon be seen on  our television screens, telling Leah’s magnificent story, and continuing the campaign to get more people registering as organ donors, so that we can all make the fight against terminal illnesses that little bit easier.

I’m sad that I never got the chance to meet this special young lady. I’m delighted that I will get to raise a glass to her, and toast her journey into the most beautiful of diamond-filled skies, at a quite special service in the town of Abingdon.

I’ve been blessed with an invite, and I will definitely attend the evening social gathering. I don’t very much like goodbyes, but she deserves one.

They want the guests to wear pink. I have no idea where I’ll find something that suits, but I think that’s just the point.

Leah’s whole ‘thing’ was about non conformism. I look forward to honouring her memory by demonstrating some.

Charity shop, here I come.

I will post whatever I can from the event tomorrow so that you may feel a part of the celebrations of  this beautiful life. Please do your bit by posting the hash tag #pinkforleah.

I never, ever, post my poetry, which if at all, I tend to publish under a different name. In this case, I’ll make an exception.



You were to me, as a moment of contrition

Your joy? Vast, and brilliant

Your silhouette upon my heart, creases it with pain

The life you never knew, defiantly beaming a smile you demand.

A legacy, a truth, a love undiminished

Your determination, and strength; unmatched

Nourishing riches of devotion and well-wishing

Proof of unorthodox swaddle.

And with kind permission of her mother and sister, here are a few photos of the girl who’s burrowed a little place in all our hearts.

And please remember, if  you can’t wear something pink tomorrow, just post the hash tag #pinkforleah, so Leah can sit back, relax, and enjoy her smooth flight into the light. A light, made up of millions of beautiful, priceless diamonds.

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Neal Mayhem
By Neal Mayhem

2 Responses to Pink For Leah

  1. Donna Merritt says:

    Such lovely words Neal and we are so grateful for all that you have done, through you so many more people followed Leah's story and got to be a part of her life!! Leah was an amazing young girl that died shortly after turning 17!! This girl didn't die in vain!! We will continue to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrisos and plan on raising as much money as possible to donate to her 4 chosen charities!! This girl was was everything everyone should be!! She was courageous, amazing, incredible, selfless strong and determined, she suffered and was in pain every day but still she continued to smile and fight towards the end!! Love you Leah you will always be remembered for who and what you done!! Sleep tight Pink princess and now you can breathe easy!!!

  2. Wendy Parker says:

    Lovely words Donna xxxx

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