A COUPLE have thanked their friends in East Lancashire after holding a memorial service for their nine-day-old son in California.

Family and friends of Leanne Steinberger and her American husband Michael rallied around when their baby Michael lost his fight for life last December.

Little Daniel was born three-and-a-half months premature to the 27-year-old former West Craven High student, weighing just 1lb 10ozs and remained on a ventilator until medics could do nothing more for him.

The youngster’s plight touched the hearts of Leanne’s friends in Pendle and her college friend Nikita Smith arranged a fancy dress walk from Barnoldswick to Colne.

Nikita, who lives in Colne, said: “The total amount raised was £1,780, which is $2973 and I would just like to thank everyone again for all the support.”

The donation has been added to an appeal fund established by the Steinbergers towards medicals costs and a memorial for Daniel and the walkers received a thank-you message from Leanne and Michael.

Another friend, Zoe Demain, staged a prize raffle via the One Stop store in Barnoldswick and collected more than £130 for the cause.

And a donation totalling £125 was also received from staff and customers at the Alma Inn at Laneshawbridge.

The couple, who live near San Bernardino, California after marrying in 2010, staged a balloon and dove release as part of the service for Daniel and have also created a memorial wall.