My campaign goes on ‘for the love of Lee’

Doreen Marsden is raising money for her support group
Doreen Marsden is raising money for her support group
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A mum who lost her son to a rare flesh-eating infection is on a fund-raising mission to help others.

Lee Spark was just 23 when he died three days after complaining of flu-like symptoms.

His life was claimed by an infection, caused by an abscess in his gum, developing into Necrotising Fasciitis (NF), a flesh-eating infection of the skin and tissue.

It can develop very quickly with patients experiencing shock, collapse, low blood pressure, and organ failure.

Following Lee’s death in 1999, his mother Doreen Marsden, who has another son Martyn, realised there were no support groups for survivors or relatives so set up the Lee Spark Foundation from her home in Ribchester, near Preston.

It costs at least £10,000 every year to run the charity and Doreen organises a series of events to collect cash.

The next will be a family fun day at her home, Moor Hey Farm, off Stoneygate Lane, Knowle Green, next Saturday August 6.

There will be a chance to try clay pigeon shooting, quad bike rides, meet the farm animals or enjoy a treasure hunt, face painting, hair wraps and rural walks. There will be a barbecue and non-alcoholic drinks.

Doreen, 58, who worked as a doctor’s receptionist for 25 years before dedicating her time to the charity, said: “The foundation is really about raising awareness. Because it’s for the love of Lee and someone you’ve lost so very, very dearly, you just keep going.

“It was very tragic the way Lee died.

“Because you can have your whole body destroyed so much within hours (by NF) and it can alter the rest of your life, people have everyday reminders - driving a car and going to work.

“They either want to become a member and continue talking about it or they want to get on with their lives.”

As part of her work, the foundation spent £15,000 putting together a training bulance stations, hospitals, district nurses and others to help medics recognise the early warning signs of NF.

All proceeds will be divided between the foundation and masonic charities supported by Doreen’s husband Chris, 65.

The event starts at 1pm and entry is £5 for adults (including five clay shots) and £2.50 for children aged over 10. For more information about the foundation, visit