Cystic fibrosis charity appeal launched in memory of teenager Ellie Loades
- Credit: IAN BURT
The parents of a popular teenager who died from cystic fibrosis have spoken of their plans to set up a charity in her name.
Nick and Elaine Loades have also told how memories of their daughter Ellie's positive attitude in adversity are helping them to cope with the heartache of her death.
Ellie Loades died at her home in School Road, Colkirk, aged 16, on November 17 last year and hundreds attended her funeral at the village church. The Fakenham High School pupil, well-known for her passion for horses and love of the great outdoors, was studying an equestrian course at Easton College and was a member of Fakenham drama group FADLOS Kidz.
Her parents are in the process of setting up a charity, which they want to name Ellie's Love, to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices, the Norfolk branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the teenage ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which have all supported them.
Mr Loades, 46, said: 'Ellie had a really positive attitude to life and she wouldn't want us sitting, moping around.
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'So we are keeping busy setting the charity up and organising fund-raising events and that is helping us to deal with things.
'I know that Ellie would be absolutely delighted if she could see that we are setting up a charity in her honour.
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'She was such a caring and unselfish girl and she was always finding the time to organise things for charity, not just to help herself but for others as well.
'She put her cystic fibrosis to one side and just got on with life.'
More than 300 wristbands with the words, 'In loving memory of Ellie Loades' written on them have already been sold to raise money for the charity.
Several events, which are both raising money for Ellie's charity and being organised separately in her memory, are also under way.
Ellie's friend Jess Leeder is organising a head shave at The Colkirk Crown pub on February 7 at 7pm to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Miss Leeder and Mr Loades are among a group of around 12 people taking part.
Mr Loades is learning to ride Ellie's horse, Jessie, to take part in a charity horse ride at Sly's Farm, North Creake on April 13.
This is being organised in memory of Ellie by her friend Kyra Welch to raise money for Great Ormond Street, which has been caring for Kyra's six-month-old son Kaiden who has a heart defect.
Mr Loades is organising a charity sky dive at Beccles on a date to be confirmed in June and a barn dance in Whissonsett at a date to be confirmed in July, both for Ellie's charity, and he hopes the charity will continue to raise funds for many years to come.
Cystic fibrosis affects internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system.
Mr Loades said: 'We knew from when she was born that Ellie wouldn't have a long life but we didn't wrap her up in cotton wool and we let her live her life in the way that she wanted.
'I knew in the last year that Ellie's condition was getting worse but when she died it still seemed so sudden and we didn't expect it to happen so quickly.'
He added: 'I want to thank everyone for the fantastic support they have given us,
'People have been incredible and it has really helped us to stay positive.'
To find out more about Ellie's charity and how you can donate to the events which have been organised in her memory, contact Mr Loades on 07889 157895.