And his plans to raise money for the cause…
When it comes to celebrity couples, few are as busy as James Dunmore and Lucy Watson – dedicating a great deal of their time to charitable causes.
Lucy has long been an activist for animal rights and James is dedicated to raising money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis charities, announcing his plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for the cause later this year, raising funds via a Just Giving page.
But it turns out that the 27-year-old’s charity work has a deeper meaning, due to his family’s heartbreaking connection to the disease.
Appearing on BBC Radio 5 on Thursday, James explained how he lost his two older sisters, Jodi and Lucinda, to Cystic Fibrosis just 10 years ago, with the two women sadly dying in the space of 20 months of each other.
‘A lot of people would hear “Your sister’s in hospital” and think “Oh that’s bad” but for us it was a very normal thing,’ James explained of his two sisters who were both diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at a very young age.
‘Lucinda went in for a normal hospital visit and then everything was fine – she had her birthday – and then a week later sadly was when she died’, he explained, recalling getting taken out of school. ‘I was at school on a Saturday morning and somebody came to the class and said that I had to go and my parents’ friend was there to take me to the hospital and I was like “Something isn’t right”, but until that point it was just a normal hospital visit for her. And at that point I was like “OK something is going badly wrong here.”‘
He continued: ‘She had to go onto a ventilator because she was struggling to breathe and from that point it just unravelled very quickly – but a week before that she was her same old person that I knew my whole life.’
Speaking of the impact that it had on his sister Jodi, James explained, ‘It absolutely tore her apart of course. I know she was obviously the elder sister so she often questioned whether it should have been her.’
He continued: ‘She never moaned about it or spoke about being scared, but you could tell that something definitely changed in her from that point – I think it suddenly became very real that things can go that quickly.’
Jodi sadly died 20 months later, in what James described as ‘a very fast turnaround’.
‘She was simply out shopping with my mum and she collapsed on the road and couldn’t breathe, so that was the start of that,’ he explained. ‘Then she was obviously transferred to the hospital, and then I think that was a week or 10 days after that that she sadly died, so very quick in both scenarios to be honest.’
‘As many of you know, I sadly lost my two sisters, Jodi and Lucinda to Cystic Fibrosis (CF) some 9 and 11 years ago,’ James posted to his fundraising page. ‘This year marks a sort of 10 year anniversary of their passings, so I thought why not mark the occasion with a memorable feat.’
He continued: ‘I will be starting my assent of Mt Kilimanjaro on 14th October 2018 in memory of my sisters, to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, and most importantly, to raise money toward finding a cure for this awful illness.’
Go to James’ Just Giving page for more details.