A staggering total of more than £70,000 has been raised to date in memory of Ellie Long, Blyth’s ‘Little Angel’.
And Ellie’s family has vowed to carry on fundraising in her name.
Four years ago, in August 2010, Rachel and Daniel Long, from Blyth, lost their beautiful little girl, Ellie, aged just two years and one month.
She had contracted a particularly virulent strain of meningitis - fulminant meningococcal sepsis, group B.
The toddler died only six hours after her first rash spot appeared.
At the time, Ellie’s family pledged to raise money to fund research for a vaccine for the B strain to try to prevent other parents having to face a similar tragedy.
In just four years they have raised more than £70,000, which has been divided equally between the Meningitis Trust and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Great North Children’s Hospital at Newcastle’s RVI.
The fundraising in Ellie’s name still continues and earlier this month Rachel presented another cheque, for £7,750, to Dr Jerry Evans, consultant anaesthetist at the PICU, Great North Children’s Hospital.
Dr Evans expressed his gratitude for the family’s most recent donation.
He said: “We are most grateful for the amazing amount raised by Rachel, Daniel and their family and friends, which will be of great benefit to the children and parents on our intensive care unit.”
The PICU provides highly specialised treatment for seriously ill babies, children and young people and combines intensive nursing and the latest medical technology to support their patients’ very complex needs.
Rachel and Daniel have organised numerous fundraising events over the past four years and have set up the Princess Ellie’s Trust to help raise awareness of the devastating illness of meningitis – see www.princesselliestrust.com for further details
Rachel said: “We really enjoy doing our fundraising as it’s a chance for our community to get together and remember our beautiful little girl and how special she was.
“Our daughter is now very well known in our home town of Blyth and I often get stopped in the street or on the way to school and asked if I’m Princess Ellie’s Mum, which makes me feel very proud.
“I never expected it to go as well as it has and up to now we have raised over £70,000.
“We hope to keep on raising even more money so that we can help as many people as possible and we are so very grateful to everyone who has shown their support so far.
”It’s certainly a full-time job, but one with the most amazing rewards.
“I only hope Ellie can see what an inspiration she has been to so many people.“