Tragic Zack’s mum launches mission for Asthma UK

Zack King, from Deeping St James, who died aged nine from an asthma attack. EMN-141119-185412001
Zack King, from Deeping St James, who died aged nine from an asthma attack. EMN-141119-185412001
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A mother who lost her nine-year-old son to an asthma attack says she can feel him with her as she starts a fundraising mission.

Keen footballer Zack King died two days after suffering a severe asthma attack in September.

His mother Alana Exton, of Thackers Way, Deeping St James, was devastated to lose her son. But she has now started a campaign to raise awareness of asthma and support the Asthma UK charity. Alana has called her campaign Zack’s Mission.

She believes asthma is often not taken as seriously as it should be, and hopes her campaign will get more people thinking about the condition.

“Even people with asthma don’t take it as seriously, so I brought it upon myself to start raising money and awareness,” said Alana.

“If it gets someone to think of the condition, particularly if they have a child, then I will have achieved something.”

Alana’s first event will be a fete at Deepings Leisure Centre from 2pm on Saturday next week. Her daughter Katelyn King, seven, has designed T-shirts for the family to wear in memory of her brother.

Alana has had plenty of support from businesses, including her own workplace, The Farm Kitchen. Zack’s former football club Deeping Rangers have also offered help. And one of Zack’s favourite clubs Peterborough United have donated a signed shirt and tickets for a raffle. Zack once met Posh star Grant McCann, who tweeted a photo of himself with the youngster in the week after his death.

“For me the fundraising will be an ongoing thing,” said Alana. “It’s a great way to keep Zack’s memory alive.

“It feels like he is still with me because I’m doing it. It offers a little bit of comfort.”

Alana used one word to describe her son: “football”. “That sums him up,” she added. “He was very cheeky and mischievous. He was a bit of a joker. And he was very popular in training.”

Alana and her friends and family will carry on Zack’s Mission in the new year, with a sponsored walk from London to Brighton. And one of her friends will run the London Marathon in April for the cause.

The fete will run from 2pm to 4.30pm and anyone is welcome, whether they knew Zack or not. More details can be found at on Facebook.

Deeping Rangers, where Zack played for the under-10s clarets side, set up a JustGiving page in his memory which has so far raised more than £3,500. That and other pages supporting Zack’s Mission can be found at www.justgiving.com/remember/147456/Zack-King.