JESSICA Ennis has become the latest superstar to support our Joseph’s Goal campaign.
The Team GB Olympic ace took time out from her busy schedule to meet three-year-old Joseph Kendrick and his family at a book signing in her native Yorkshire, and was presented with a Joseph’s Goal wristband to spread the word.
The campaign was started by Joseph’s parents, Emma and Paul Kendrick, to raise awareness and funds to fight Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH), a rare genetic condition their little boy was born with.
Wigan Athletic’s players and management have already backed the campaign to the hilt, and Jessica – the nation’s pin-up after her London 2012 exploits – has added her support.
“It’s amazing when we get to meet these people and they give us their backing,” said Emma, 36. “We watched Jessica win gold over the summer and thought she was fantastic, so to have her support means a lot.”
Jessica was at the Waterstones store in Leeds, where she signed hundreds of copies of her new book ‘Unbelievable’ for her legion of loyal fans, who had queued in the pouring rain to see her.
However, the first copy she signed was for Joseph, and she stopped to chat to the family and hear about the campaign before meeting the rest of her admirers.
NKH affects one in 60,000 new-borns, and there are less than 500 children in the world currently living with the disorder.
Only one man – Dr Johan van Hove in Colorado – is currently conducting research into NKH, and every penny raised by Joseph’s Goal will go towards helping him find a cure.
Paul, 36, the Evening Post’s Wigan Athletic correspondent, said: “We only started Joseph’s Goal last month, and hopefully the profile will be raised even more with Jessica on board.
“It was fantastic she could spare the time to meet us despite being so busy at the moment. And I’m sure she’ll treasure her Joseph’s Goal wristband as dearly as her Olympic gold medal.”
Other big names to support Joseph’s Goal include top comedians Alun Cochrane and Josh Widdcombe, who are currently wearing wristbands and raising the profile on their respective nationwide tours.
Follow @josephsgoal on Twitter, or visit www.josephsgoal.org for more details.