Maidstone schoolboy raises £3000 for liver charity
James Bate, a member of Bearsted Lodge No 6069, suffered chronic liver failure in late 2013 and has only recently returned home after a liver transplant in King’s College Hospital where he stayed for a total of 4 months.
When James became ill, at one point his weight had reduced from 18 to just 6 stones, James’ son Sam said that he “Wanted to help people like daddy” and came up with the idea of cycling the marathon distance of 26 miles to raise £250 for the British Liver Trust. In the end, with the backing of family, friends, schoolmates and others he raised over £2,000.
His ride took place, with the support of friends and family, up and down the promenade and coastal park several times between Hythe and Folkestone.
When the members of James’ lodge heard of Sam’s incredible efforts they were moved to donate another £1,000 to the British Liver Trust charity in his name, bringing the total to over £3,000.
Chris Harbord, Bearsted Lodge’s Charity Steward, commented that “Charity, along with friendship and integrity are the cornerstones of Freemasonry and our members, after hearing of Sam’s magnificent achievement, were unanimously in favour of this donation.”
Audrey Cornelius, Fundraising Manager at the British Liver Trust said “This is an amazing feat by Sam. Liver disease is the only major cause of death still increasing year-on-year and is now the third largest cause of premature death. Our work supports patients and families and aims to reduce the impact of this dreadful disease; we would encourage everyone to take our liver screener at www.loveyourliver.org.uk. We are so grateful to Sam and his family, along with the members of The Bearsted Lodge for their additional support.”
At their meeting in April, and in addition to the £1,000 donation to the British Liver Trust, Bearsted Lodge approved further charitable donations totalling £2,500 to nine other non-Masonic charities; a grand total of £3,500 altogether.