Today is a very special day for the Rosie's Rainbow Fund family, as it marks what would have been the 18th birthday of a little girl dear to all of our hearts, Ella Czornyj. The daughter of our trustee Helene Czornyj, Ella was also Rosie's good friend--and it was Ella's need for a specialised wheelchair that inspired Rosie to write and put on a musical as a means to raise funds for Ella's chair. This was where the early seeds for what would become Rosie's Rainbow Fund were first sown--and it is through Helene's own experiences as the mum of a child with special needs that our charity's services and supports for special-needs children evolved.
So, on this December 17th, Rosie would have been 25 years old. This feels unbelievable to me.
I remember her eleventh birthday as clear as if it was yesterday. Rosie wasn't well. It was the beginning of her illness, although we didn't know it at the time. She had a bad cough and looked pale and drawn. We thought it was just a cough and had no idea that this was the sinister onset of the shocking illness which was to snatch her from us just a few months later.
Rosie wanted to go ahead and celebrate with her much-adored sister Ellie and her Redroofs school friends, so we booked a table at the local Chinese. Determined to enjoy the day, she wore her...