The mother of teenager Leah Reek has spoken about the ‘overwhelming’ support she has received since her daughter was tragically killed in a Leicester explosion in February.
Joanne Reek, of Asfordby, will be joining other family members and friends on Saturday in walking 10km in an annual fundraiser for the LOROS hospice charity, where Leah, who was 18, was a volunteer.
Mrs Reek hoped to raise £1,000 for the cause, which supports terminally ill adults, but pledges have so far totalled more than an astonishing £15,000.
She said: “We’re doing the walk for Leah, I know she would be so proud of us, she’d have a massive smile on her beautiful face.
“The support I have received since Leah died has been overwhelming.
“It has been tremendous, people locally have really got behind us, even those that didn’t know Leah have been in touch. It’s just been incredible.
“We want to do all that we can to keep her memory alive.
“Leah loved LOROS so much, and I want to continue doing what I can for the Hospice, it’s Leah’s legacy.”
It will be an emotional day for the Reek family with a minute’s silence to be held before the walk to remember Leah and others killed in the explosion, which destroyed a mini supermarket and a flat above it in Hinckley Road.
There will also be the traditional balloon release to allow those taking part to remember loved ones who have passed away.
Mrs Reek, who will be taking part with daughter Molly, added: “About 45 of us are doing the walk, we’ll have purple and pink leopard print transfers on our t-shirts, as well as leopard ears and a leopard tail. Leah loved leopard print.
“A local bus company will be getting us there, with the bus hire money also being donated to LOROS.”
This year’s theme for the Twilight Walk, which starts and finishes at Leicester City FC’s King Power Stadium from 5.30pm, is circus and carnival.
BBC Radio Leicester’s Rupal Rajani will be cracking her whip as the ringmistress.
She said: “I am always happy to support LOROS with the work they do, I feel honoured to have been asked to lend a hand.
“The charity offer amazing help to those who need it, it is wonderful to have such a supportive hospice right on our doorstep.
“The circus theme is going to be so much fun, I can’t wait to see the thousands of women geared up to walk 10km around Leicester to raise valuable funds for the hospice.”
Go online at www.justgiving.com/companyteams/leahslegacy to support Leah’s family and friends in the walk with sponsorship.
To sign-up to take part go to www.loros.co.uk/support-us/events/2018/04/14/twilight-walk or call 0116 2318431 - tickets cost £12 or £30 on the day.