Two-year-old girl raises £2,500 for charity in memory of grandfather who died of Covid-19

Jemima Akhtar(R) and Mohammed Shafi
Jemima Akhtar(R) and Mohammed Shafi

A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl has raised around £2,500 through fundraising walks for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in memory of her grandfather who died of Covid-19.

Jemima Akhtar conducted the fundraiser in tribute to Mohammed Shafi, 80, from Leicester who died in December last year after contracting the coronavirus. Mohammed, a foster carer, was admitted to hospital in November with a urinary tract infection, before later testing positive for Covid-19. He was unable to respond to treatment and died on 3 December 2020.

“Jemima and her grandad had such a strong and unique bond. She was very fond of him and called him ‘Gaga’. He loved cooking and she loved eating – they made a great pair,” ,” said Jemima’s mother Suzana Akhtar.

“Dad was a very charitable person and he was brought up to put others before himself. He fostered over 50 children, most of whom referred to him as ‘dad.’ People in the community would always come to him and ask for his support and guidance. His prime occupation was always to be a good Samaritan.”

In tribute to Mohammed’s charitable nature, the family decided to give something back to a cause close to him.

After recognising Jemima was able to walk without her pushchair, they decided to set up two walks in his memory and encouraged others to sponsor them on JustGiving. Jemima was also joined by her dad Naieem, 37, and older brother Jamaal, 8.

According to the family, funds raised by the walks will go towards the BHF’s life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia and their risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Mohammed leaves behind nine children, 28 grandchildren, two great grand-children and his wife Sue Shafi.

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