Leona gives her heart and sole

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A young lawyer, Leona Rankin, has agreed to walk over hot coals to raise money for the Boom Foundation, a charity she set up in memory of her fiancé Philip Wilson, from Lisburn, who died from sarcoma cancer last spring.

“My fiancé Philip died a year ago from sarcoma cancer, just weeks before our planned wedding,” explained Leona.

“To help me deal with my grief, I set up the Boom Foundation to raise funds to help other sarcoma sufferers and raise awareness of this particular cancer.”

Sarcoma is a bone and soft tissue cancer and is one of the few cancers which can often lead to amputation. Each year in Northern Ireland 100 people are diagnosed with sarcoma.

Over the last year Boom has raised over £70,000, fifty percent of which has gone to Sarcoma UK for research into the disease whilst the remaining funds are being used to support patients currently dealing with the trauma and treatment of the illness.

“Until The Boom Foundation there was very little support for sarcoma patients and their families,” she continued. “Many patients are really young people and feel they have no support outside the medical team. We have now set up a support network and self-help group and are having our first ever information day, ‘Living well with and Beyond Sarcoma’ on April 4 at the Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim. The event is in partnership with Sarcoma UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.”

Leona came up with the idea of walking over hot coals because she wanted to do something exciting to mark the first anniversary of the charity.

“Being honest I wanted to do something which was challenging, empowering and fun to mark the first year of The Boom Foundation,” she continued.

“The event, which is taking place on Saturday April 5, at 7pm at Coleraine Rugby Club, is open to the public and I would encourage people to sign up through our facebook page www.facebook.com/theboomfoundation and join in the fun.

“The event starts with a motivational session before participants get the chance to walk on fire.”

She added: “What’s a bit of fear and toasted feet for something as important as helping people with sarcoma throughout Northern Ireland.”

If you’re looking for an exciting and challenging way to face your fears, go online to www.facebook.com/theboomfoundation and sign up to attend the event.