THE story of how a Wallasey family is helped by Claire House moved viewers of The X Factor to tears at the weekend.
An appeal film on Sunday’s show featured Helen and Chris Lloyd and their three sons Tom, 13, and twins Dan and Sam, 16, who have the genetic muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The boys spend 17 days a year at the Bebington-based hospice, allowing all the family to take a break.
Claire House is one of the hospices supported by charity Together For Short Lives, which will benefit from this year’s X Factor charity single.
The Lloyd family were in the front row of the audience on Sunday to see all the finalists, plus JLS and One Direction, perform the single, a cover of Wishing On A Star.
They also appeared on breakfast programme Daybreak on Monday and have since been approached by countless members of the public moved and inspired by their story.
Helen, 41, said: “You could hear a pin drop in the studio when the film was on.
“Everywhere we have been since, people have said to me ‘you made me cry’ or ‘aren’t the boys fantastic?’.
“I just hope we can capitalise on it and assure Claire House’s future. We could not do what we do for the boys without their support.”
During their time at the X Factor studios, Tom, Dan and Sam met several contestants, including Marcus Collins and Misha B, and judges Louis Walsh and Tulisa.
The family of pink-haired singer Amelia Lily also gave them gifts of pink T-shirts.
Helen said: “Misha B was absolutely brilliant and Tulisa and Louis both came to see them. All I have heard since is ‘Tulisa, Tulisa’ – they absolutely adore her.
“It really has been a thrill for the boys. The worst thing which could happen would be people meeting them and feeling sorry for them.
“They are normal, feisty young men and they have a wonderful life.”
Helen Carlson, northern area manager for fundraising at Claire House, said: “It took a lot for Dan, Sam, Tom and their parents to allow the film crews into their lives and words like inspirational, humbling and courageous come to mind.”
l For more Claire House information call 0151 343 0883.