THE family of cancer victim Liam Harker will mark what would have been his 19th birthday with the latest in a string of fundraising events.

Since Liam's death in May 2007, the Harker family, of the North Road area of Darlington, have raised about £20,000 in his memory.

Most of that money has been donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, where Liam was treated for Burkitt's Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.

On Sunday, Liam's 15-year-old sister Paige will release 200 balloons at South Park, Darlington.

The event takes place just days before November 4, Liam's birthday. The balloons have been filled with messages and tributes by members of the public, with each balloon being sold. So far, the event, organised by Paige, has raised £400.

The money will be added to that raised at a number of fundraisers, held not just by the family but people previously unknown to them.

Paige, a Longfield School pupil, praised everyone for their efforts.

She said: "It's good to see other people raising money in memory of Liam, it shows people still remember him."

Tracie Harker, Liam and Paige's mother, paid tribute to her daughter's resilience following Liam's death.

"She is amazing," she said. "It is her way of coping with losing her brother. We are so proud of her, she has coped really well and to keep doing what she has been doing is brilliant.

"I know Liam would be proud as well."

Sunday's event, which starts at 3pm in the park, will be attended by several of Liam's friends, some of whom are travelling back from University to be there.

Mrs Harker said her son's story had had a profound effect on his peers.

"Liam has made people look at life and think you never know what is just around the corner.

"You have to make the most of the time you have got.

"All these people raising money are great, it keeps Liam's memory alive and the people he met at the RVI are still benefiting from it."

To donate to the Harker's charity fund, visit