How brotherly love helped raise £3k for hospice

Paddlers: Ellie Laurie, 13,  with friend Lara Tinant, 15,

Paddlers: Ellie Laurie, 13, with friend Lara Tinant, 15, Buy this photo

First published in News

A BICESTER teenager has completed a 50km canoe challenge to help raise thousands for the hospice that cared for her younger brother.

Ellie Laurie, 13, was in a team of nine youngsters who all have siblings who are cared for at Helen and Douglas House Hospice. Her brother Thomas stayed before he died in February..

The nine-year-old suffered from a rare genetic condition called Cockayne Syndrome, a disease that causes premature aging, that affects two in every million newborns.

Ellie and her canoeing friends covered around 15k a day, paddling for up to eight hours a day, and camped out each night.

A pupil at Blessed George Napier Catholic School in Banbury, Ellie said: “I wanted to do the canoe challenge to help raise money for Helen House as they provided so much support for Thomas during his life – it was an amazing trip.”

The group set off on the Thames from Oxford and completed their challenge three days later in Pangbourne on August 1. So far they have raised more than £3,000, including Ellie’s £650.

Ellie’s dad Richard Laurie, 45, said: “She was an amazing sister to Thomas. She loved Helen and Douglas House, as we all did for a variety of different reasons.

“First we went for respite care and the later for end-of-life care.

You can still support the siblings’ canoe challenge at justgiving.com/teams/HDHsibscanoe

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