Virgin boss Branson backs Lewis’s appeal

SNP MPs salute the fundraising efforts of Lewis Vaughan
SNP MPs salute the fundraising efforts of Lewis Vaughan

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has pledged his support for an “inspiring” rail worker whose cancer battle sparked a global fundraising campaign.

Former St David’s High School pupil Lewis Vaughan was diagnosed with secondary lung cancer, testicular cancer and a number of brain tumours last April. He recently moved to the Marie Curie Hospice in Fairmilehead, after doctors told him he had only weeks to live.

The 32-year-old started taking tongue-in-cheek selfies making an L-shape with his hands and donning different hats to make his friends smile.

Last month the #LforLewis campaign took off, with more than 700 people from across the globe sharing selfies.

Virgin Trains East Coast, where Lewis worked as a customer information assistant, even dedicated a train to him with the #LforLewis tag on its side. Sir Richard posted his support to his 2.5 million Facebook followers, after sharing his own selfie.

He wrote: “I was told a humbling story about an inspiring young Scottish Virgin Trains employee named Lewis Vaughan.

“Suffering with terminal cancer and given only weeks to live by doctors, Lewis has dedicated himself to raising awareness and money for Marie Curie by asking people to take a selfie with a hat on while making an L hand symbol.

“To honour Lewis and help him spread his message, we’ve branded one of our trains – which travels between Inverness and London – with the #LforLewis hashtag.

“The East Coast #LforLewis train service will operate for a month, and we encourage train passengers across the UK to take a selfie next to the train and upload it to social media, and also donate to Lewis’s Virgin Money Giving appeal.”

Lewis, who grew up in Midlothian, has also attracted the support of SNP MPs who made the L hand symbol.