Kirsty Howard

Kirsty Howard,‭ ‬who was born on‭ ‬20‭ ‬September‭ ‬1995‭ ‬is the figurehead of‭ ‘‬Kirsty's Appeal‭’‬,‭ ‬a charitable foundation in her name,‭ ‬created to raise‭ ‬£5‭ ‬million for Francis House,‭ ‬the hospice where she receives care.‭ ‬In October‭ ‬2006,‭ ‬the appeal announced that it has reached its initial target figure of‭ ‬£5,000,000.‭ ‬Kirsty has taken part in numerous fundraising efforts,‭ ‬which have gained national support and attention.

Kirsty was born in Wythenshawe with an exceptionally rare condition in which her heart is back to front,‭ ‬causing the misplacement of her internal organs.‭ ‬The condition is inoperable,‭ ‬and requires extensive treatment,‭ ‬including a constant oxygen supply.‭ ‬Kirsty is the only person in the UK,‭ ‬and only the second in the world,‭ ‬diagnosed with this condition‭; ‬the condition is reportedly so rare that it does not have a name.‭ ‬In February‭ ‬1999,‭ ‬she was given only six weeks to live.

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 ‬2004,‭ ‬Kirsty started the inaugural Great Manchester Run,‭ ‬and took part in the race herself,‭ ‬via wheelchair.‭ ‬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 has also received the Child of Courage Award‭ (‬2001‭) ‬and the Pride of Britain Award‭ (‬2002‭)‬.