One Direction fans are constantly proving that they’re the most dedicated fan base on earth – not just to supporting Louis, Harry, Niall, and Liam – but the various charities, events, and even family members that the lads are close to as well.
Most recently One Direction NDA set up a fundraiser for Johannah Deakin, the lovely and compassionate mother of Louis Tomlinson. The fundraiser that is in place to honor her birthday on March 25th will benefit Niamh’s Next Step – a charity set up after a family lost their sweet young daughter to neuroblastoma. Johannah recently became a patron for this charity and NDA said there was no better place for the funds raised to go.
Niamh’s Next Step’s mission statement is to “raise money and awareness of Neuroblastoma whilst offering help, support and advice to children and families affected by this aggressive childhood cancer. Other aims are to help fund much-needed research and education programs and help improve all round treatment of Neuroblastoma.”
Neuroblastoma is an aggressive form of childhood cancer that takes the lives of too many young children around the world. Statistics show that sadly, out of around 100 children born in the UK with the cancer a year, roughly only 30% survive.
We asked One Direction NDA a few questions on why this charity drive was so important.
Why was it important to honor Johannah and why was Niamh’s Next Step the right charity for you to donate towards? – Johannah Deakin is an extraordinary woman. She has raised seven children and also helped bring life in to the world as midwife. Now a stay at home mum raising two toddlers and four girls, she has her hands full. But Johannah has still found time to support her eldest son Louis Tomlinson in everything he does as part of One Direction, from attending tapings of TV shows and awards, to going to see him perform live in concert all across the world. Johannah has given so much to the fans of One Direction, she has helped many people over the years have the chance to meet the band, and has always been kind and courteous to fans.
The reason we chose to help Niamh Next Step is that Johannah has recently become a patron for the charity. Johannah and Louis have done a lot for various different charities over the years. Recently Johannah and Louis became close to the Hext family. Harvey Hext sadly passed away on November 29th after battling with a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma. Niamh’s Next Step was set up in memory of Niamh who also passed away at the age of five from the same horrible cancer. The charity aims to raise awareness and to support families and sufferers of this cancer and to raise funds to one day hopefully find a cure for this awful cancer.
Why is it important to involve the whole One Direction fandom? – We felt it was important to involve the fandom in this charity drive as they seem to really get onboard with helping charities the boys have links to. Johannah has done so much for the fandom and for countless families who have poorly children, we felt it was only right to say thank you for all she has done to help people. So raising money for a charity which she is patron of seemed a fitting way to celebrate her birthday and say thank you.
How were you personally inspired by Johannah and Louis’ charity work? – Johannah and Louis’s work with Believe in Magic, a charity which some of the admins of One Direction NDA have supported for a long time, and her support of the Hext Family is what inspired us to begin this charity drive. Later this year we plan to do a charity drive in remembrance of Harvey for his birthday in aid of Believe in Magic, a charity which also helped the family and it was through that charity that Johannah and her family met the Hext family. One Direction NDA believes that the positive things the band does should always be talked about more than the negative things, as all the support the band and their families have given to charity over the years,is something to be celebrated and applauded and we continue to show the world that is what really matters.
Did you find it important to bring light to Louis and Johannah because of the year Louis’ had? – It is very important to bring to light what a lovely family the Tomlinson-Deakins are. They are kind and caring, and selflessly give their time to help others. Louis has been grossly misrepresented by some media outlets in the past year and Johannah and her family have kept a dignified silence, while someone they care for has been publicly vilified. They held their heads high and continued to help other families.
After hearing about One Direction NDA’s charity drive and their incredible responses to our questions, we felt it necessary to bring this to the eyes of as many fans as possible. One Direction NDA has always stood up against bullying, against harmful situations for the fandom, and have become a light and a safe place for anyone who feels like they have no one where else to exist honestly. These traits are also traits that Louis himself possesses and those are the important qualities of him, and the One Direction fandom, that deserve to be highlighted.
We asked NDA if they planned on highlighting other charities during One Direction’s hiatus as well.
Throughout the band’s hiatus we plan to highlight and draw attention to the positive things the band does, so One Direction NDA will continue to post on what all the boys are doing. We will be paying particular attention to the things they do for charity, as we feel these are the stories we should be seeing about the band and not all the negative character assassinations we have seen recently.
Negative character assassinations have truly been the sum of the media in 2015 and the beginning of 2016 for Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall and it’s important, during what seems like an endless battle, to look beyond the surface and pay attention to the lesser highlighted – but more real – stories of the boys, their families, and the continually giving hearts they posess.
While the boys themselves have handled these assassinations well, with their smiles bright and their hearts strong, their families have stood close watch without the proper ability to stand up at each turn and scream to the media that their boys were so much more than the images that were being painted of them. This is incredibly true for Louis, who was slammed by fallacies in 2015 and surrounded by negativity while his mum loved and supported him as best as she could. Johannah, who has kept her support personal, took to twitter in December to let everyone know that Louis’ heart is huge and that the things she reads about him hurts, even if she can’t say it all the time. We have to applaud a woman strong enough to not stand tall while her son is struggling, but to be strong for him, herself, and the rest of her lovely family too.
If you too have been inspired by Johannah, Louis, and the incredible charities they’ve been a part of during Louis’ time with One Direction, we hope you’ll find it in your hearts to donate for Johannah’s birthday and to help save the lives of children affected by the rare, aggressive, and traumatic cancer that is neuroblastoma.