'It's important to make memories' - gala ball to help families facing early deaths
PUBLISHED: 10:32 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:38 16 August 2019
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The parents of a teenager girl who died of cystic fibrosis and the mother of a terminally ill boy have joined forces to help families in similar situations.
Nick and Elaine Loades and Kyra Welch are organising a second annual red carpet ball at Holkham Hall on September 21, fundraising for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
EACH supported Fakenham schoolgirl Ellie Loades before she died aged 16 in November 2013.
Mr and Mrs Loades, from Colkirk, near Fakenham, now run the charity Ellie's Love in memory of their daughter.
Mr Loades said: "This is all to say thank you to those who helped Ellie, and to help those going through trauma.
"It's important for people with cystic fibrosis to make memories.
"We often used funds raised to buy tablet computers for kids with the disease, so they can always have entertainment and enjoy life."
Ellie's Love raises money for the charities that helped Ellie, and continue to help others.
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In the past five years, the charity has received more than £50,000.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder which shortens life - many people with the condition die in their 20s or 30s.
People with the condition can never meet each other, because cross-contamination would endanger their lives.
Miss Welch, from North Creake, was a friend of Ellie's, and her son Kaiden Griffen is among those who currently get help from EACH. Kaiden has been diagnosed with a terminal heart condition, and his mum often joins with Mr and Mrs Loades to host fundraising events.
The evening will feature live music from the Lee Vasey band and singer Zoe Able in the Elizabeth Room of Holkham Hall. The night will include a charity auction and three-course meal.
Mr Loades said: "These events can raise up to £10,000, and it will all go to a good place.
"We've got a magnificent stainless steel statue of angel in the auction this year.
"It was donated by an artist whose daughter was friends with Ellie."
More than half of the available tickets have already been sold. If you would like to attend or sponsor a table, contact Mr Loades on 07789 157895 or Miss Welch on 07917 416711.