Graeme’s head start in fund-raising drive for Steven’s memory

Graeme Atkinson having  his head shaved for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, by his sister hairdresser  Elaine Collins. Below, Steven Atkinson.

Graeme Atkinson having his head shaved for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, by his sister hairdresser Elaine Collins. Below, Steven Atkinson.

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A FATHER whose son’s death touched the hearts of Wearside is embarking on a feat of fund-raising to mark what would have been his 16th birthda

The Atkinson family were left devastated when Steven, 12, was killed as he crossed The Broadway in Grindon on his bike in October 2009.

A Sandhill View School pupil, Steven was a popular character who had developed a zest for life after winning a battle with leukaemia as a toddler.

So much so, that a plaque was erected at King George V Park, Pennywell, in his memory.

Now, to mark his 16th birthday on July 15, dad Graeme, of Ford Estate, is leading a host of events in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The first event was a sponsored head shave at Estrella hair salon in Sunniside.

Graeme, 42, who is married to Violet, said: “Steven’s death is always there, but it’s worse at certain times of the year like his birthday, which is why we decided to do these fund-raising events.

“Steven would have been 16 this month and just leaving school. This is our way of celebrating his life. He was such a fun character.”

Other events taking place this month in Steven’s name are a sponsored back wax, a balloon release on his birthday, a car boot sale, auctions and more.

All money raised will go into a Forget Me Not fund in Steven’s name, which will help to pay for leukaemia and lymphoma research carried out in the North East.

Graeme, who is also dad to John, 20, Dawn, 17 and Katie, seven, said: “It’s a great charity and all the money stays in the area to help people here. Steven had done fund-raising with us when he was alive.

“Anybody he knew Steven would tell you he would do anything for anybody.”

* To donate to Steven’s Forget Me Not Fund visit www.justgiving.com/16-events.