Ruby's Birthday Party raises £4,202 for Children's Hospice

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

AN Ahoghill woman has raised £4,202 for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice in memory of her late daughter little Ruby Powell.

Lisa Powell and her family endured the agony of losing Ruby last year but have embarked on a journey to keep her memory alive and to raise awareness of her condition and the invaluable work of the Children's Hospice.

Ruby passed away when she was just five years old on November 18, 2017, at the Hospice.

Ruby was born with a severe brain injury and was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Multi Focal Epilepsy.

Although Ruby's short life was filled with complex medical needs, it was a life filled with love from her parents Lisa and Andy, little brother Ezra and her wider family.

A year on, Lisa decided to host Ruby's Birthday Fundraiser at Ahoghill Community Centre on what would have been Ruby's sixth birthday.

The party was a huge success with 300 adults and children attending to celebrate the life of Ruby, to remember her and also raise much needed funds for the Hospice.

Lisa told the Guardian: "There was an enthusiastic and supportive vibe to raise money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice in memory of Ruby.

"I had so much support from local businesses that helped enable the event to be the success that it was.

"There was a mixture of activities on the day, from cake stalls, nail painting, a bouncy castle, face painting, and little gladiators.

"The community really came together to support the event - it totally blew us away!

" I am absolutely delighted as I feel strongly about honouring Ruby’s name and keeping her memory alive.

"I also took part in the NI Children's Hospice 5K Jingle all the way run on Sunday, December 9, so with the party and the run, I have raised a total of £4,202."

Lisa has also launched a blogging website called Chasing Ladybirds. The blog is now live and can be assessed by logging on to www.chasingladybirds.com.

The blog provides Lisa with an outlet to share her own journey, Ruby's life and in turn provide support for other families going through similar experiences.

A face book page called Ruby Powell's Journey and an instagram page ChasingLadybirds was the prelude to this, giving family and friends the opportunity to be updated throughout Ruby's treatments and milestones.

Lisa explained: "Everyone that knew Ruby knew that ladybirds was her wee thing.

"When she was only a few months old a ladybird landed on her toes one summer day and that's where it all started.

"Chasing ladybirds came from our connection of ladybirds with Ruby, and Chasing was down to we will always chase Ruby’s memory.

"We will never forget our memories and love for her - we will always chase every moment we had with her."

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