Foundation set up in memory of Jessie, aged 10

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A foundation set up in memory of 10-year-old Jessie Burke has its first major fundraising event this month.

The Shelf Junior and Infant School pupil died suddenly December 28 and her death rocked all who knew her.

She had been healthy with no sign of serious illness until a few days before.

It transpired she had the genetic heart condition ARVC - Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.

Jessie loved the arts and in particular reading, drawing, writing and music.

Her mum and dad James Pitman and Kelly Burke, of Shelf, want to create a lasting legacy and have started the “Be Amazing Whatever Foundation.”

James said the family wanted her legacy to inspire young people to achieve goals such as learning to play musical instruments and secondly to provide facilities for them to do that. It’s still early days the foundation will start by helping Jessie’s school.

A “Jessiefest” is being organised at the Queen Victoria pub car park in Northowram, on August 17, from 2 pm to 10 pm.

Several local bands will feature and there will be food and stalls. Admission is by a donation to the foundation and it is hoped hundreds will attend throughout the day.

James said if any company wishes to help with sponsorship or donate items on the day that would be appreciated.

“Jessie was always a bit of a dreamer and ambitious like me and Kelly, and now Jessie is not able to do something it would be nice to let others do something,” said James.

“It hit us hard. She was very close to her grandparents Sue and Mick Burke.”

ARVD is caused by genetic defects of the parts of heart muscle known as desmosomes.

The foundation also aims to provide free online resources and work at raising awareness of Jessie’s condition.

On August 9, Safe-Move, part of Yorkshire Water, has organised a sponsored walk/run from the Yorkshire Water head office in Bradford to the Shoulder & Mutton, Carr Lane, Shelf, in aid of the foundation.

James can be contacted via