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Issue:- Monday, 11 April 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 9.

How deep is your love? Fundraising mother dives to great depths!
Photographs by Special Momentz Photography

A mother from Salford has taken the plunge at SEA LIFE Manchester, as part of a campaign to get Gary Barlow to sing at her son's tenth birthday, an event he wasn't expected to reach.  Joanne Coombes, aged 27, began campaigning earlier this year when Gary Barlow announced his intention to sing at someone's milestone birthday, encouraging fans to persuade him over social media why their birthday is the best. It didn't take long for Joanne to decide to take the plunge and swim with sharks in a Sea TREK, all to raise awareness of her determination to get Gary to the party.

Joanne's son, Lleyton Macaulley Coombes was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare, neurodegenerative condition shortly after his birth in 2006. The disease has no cure and Lleyton wasn't expected to live past the age of 3 but amazingly, he defeated the odds and will reach his 10th Birthday, on 17 December 2016, a milestone his family never thought possible until now. The campaign titled:- 'Sing For Lleyton' has been gathering momentum with family, friends and local supporters all coming together to capture Gary Barlow's attention. Things are looking positive as Gary personally replied on Twitter recently.

Joanne said:- "I'm doing everything in my power to ensure Lleyton has the most magical birthday party. I hope diving to the bottom of the tank at SEA LIFE will help raise awareness for my son and others with Niemann Pick disease, if anyone has any other suggestions I'm willing to give them a go! Lleyton really enjoys dancing and listening to music, he adores Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams too!"

James Thomas, General Manager at SEA LIFE Manchester said:- "This campaign is close to many of our hearts here and it means a lot to be able to show our support for Lleyton and his family."

SEA LIFE Manchester is home to an incredible array of sea creatures from all over the planet, including the new Octopus Hideout exhibition, family favourite Ernie, the Giant Green Sea Turtle, captivating seahorses, colourful clownfish, rays and more!  To join the campaign use the hashtag #SingForLleyton or to donate to the Pride of Lleyton appeal can do so online.

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