At first sight Ellie Loades appears to be just like any other bright and bubbly teenager. But the 14-year-old from Colkirk, who is a Year 10 pupil at Fakenham High school, has had to battle with cystic fibrosis virtually since the day she was born.
The debilitating disease is a constant factor in Ellie’s everyday routine but she insists that she doesn’t let it rule her life. Now she has a real chance to improve her physical well-being thanks to the development of a special vest which inflates and vibrates to help her breathe more easily.
The cost of the vest, however, is around £7,000 which is way beyond what Ellie and her family can afford.
But thanks to the generosity of Freemason lodges in both Norwich and Fakenham, the target has been made reachable through some significant donations. Ellie’s grandfather, Maurice Loades, is himself a freemason and decided it would be a good idea to draw her plight to their attention.
The almoner of Joppa Lodge in Fakenham, Roger Hathway, got in touch with the main masonic charity in Norfolk which in double-quick time came forward with a cheque for £2,000 from its Norfolk Masonic Provincial [Le Strange] Fund.
This was presented to Ellie and her father, Nick Loades, at the Masonic Hall on Hayes Lane in Fakenham, the handover being made by Tony Bothway, provincial grand almoner of Norfolk. The Fakenham chapters also pledged over £1,000 towards the appeal.
Thanks to other sponsored activities organised by family and friends, around £5,500 has so far been collected.
Others in the pipeline include a skydive and a barn dance at Whissonsett Hall farm on July 14.
For details of how to donate and information on sponsored events, call Mr Loades on 07889 157895.