Having grown up watching his mother live with multiple sclerosis, Burnley-born professional YouTuber and passionate Clarets fan Vizeh (20), whose real name is Liam Waddington, understands better than most the physical and emotional tribulations the condition entails and has become an enthusiastic fundraiser for the MS Society since his mother's death seven years ago.
“I was 13 when mum died – I remember it like it was yesterday," said Liam, for whom this was a second 50-hour charity live stream following a similar marathon broadcast last year. "She’d had MS since before I was born and for the two years before she died didn’t have a life at all. She was stuck in wheelchair with carers doing everything for her so as hard as losing her was, I know she’s no longer in pain."
Sleep-deprived and sporting a new trim after he shaved his head to mark the £5,000 fundraising mark, Liam celebrated completing the clock-busting charity endeavour by tweeting: "I can't even begin to explain the emotions running through me right now. Thank you for supporting and being part of something that I'll never forget - this [money] is to help people in need and I'll forever ensure I'll carry my mum's legacy with whatever I do."
Explaining that he originally turned to YouTube as a coping mechanism to deal with his mother's condition, Liam spent the bulk of the live stream playing video games and interspersing the action with a number of hi-jinks ranging from drinking beer from a shoe and waxing his legs to undertaking the cinnamon challenge after going 40 hours without sleep and eating the infamously hot Ghost Chilli, prompting a tweet reading: "If I die, give Dean [Marney] my YouTube channel."
“I forever aim to make mum proud and I’m passionate about raising awareness of MS so people affected can get the help," said Liam, who has around 170,000 YouTube subscribers and appeared live on BBC Radio Lancashire during the broadcast. "There’s lots of invaluable support out there, including grants from the MS Society and their free helpline.
"I want to do everything I can to ensure others don't go through what my mum did," he added, with MS affecting some 100,000 people in the UK. "I have a lot of kids talk to me about their issues, including a boy who I can really relate to as his mum has MS. I’m a firm believer in talking about your troubles as it’s important to express yourself."
Simon Moran, Area Fundraiser at the MS Society, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Liam for taking on this new, exciting challenge; his generous commitment will enable us to help and support more of them. Together, we’re strong enough to stop MS."
To make a donation, head to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vizehformum. You can find Vizeh's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/xViseH/featured.