Help celebrate Alyshia’s 21st by raising funds for SKFF
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
ALYSHIA Balfour should have been celebrating her coming of age this month.
Tragically, Alyshia, from Kirkcaldy inFife, died at the age of nine after being hit by a speeding driver just yards from her home, in July 2001.
Now, her doting mum, Karen Brady, has decided to pay tribute to her beautiful daughter and raise funds for the hospital and charity that fought against the odds to save her little girl’s life.
Karen, 39, will hold a fundraising night in memory of Alyshia at Charley’s Bar in Kirkcaldy on Friday, February 15. The event will also serve as a 21st birthday party for Alyshia, who would have celebrated the milestone on February 18. All money raised will be donated to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, the official charity of theEdinburghRoyalHospital for Sick Children.
Karen said: “Alyshia was the most wonderful wee girl – she was a typical girl, very chatty and outgoing, sometimes cheeky, loved horseriding and spending time with her pals. She was so close to her wee brother Ian, who’s 19 now, and would do anything for anyone.
“She was knocked down when she was nine years old by a speeding driver and spent nine days in the Intensive Care Unit at theEdinburghRoyalHospitalfor Sick Children. I stayed in PJ’s Loft the entire time, which is the sleepover unit provided for families of patients. It is funded by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and it meant I didn’t have to leave my little girl’s side during her stay in the ICU.”
Karen said the decision to hold a fundraising night to tie in with Alyshia’s birthday was an easy one to make.
She said: “We’ve not really done much over the years since Alyshia died but this seemed like the perfect time to say thank you for everything the hospital did for us. The nurses who looked after Alyshia were just phenomenal. I can’t describe what it’s like to lose a child, but they really looked after all of us and were so sympathetic to our situation.”
The fundraising night at Charley’s will run from 7pm to midnight and Karen has already managed to sell 200 tickets – surpassing all her expectations. An auction, to be finalised on the night, is already underway, with bids for signed football memorabilia from Hearts, Hibs, Celtic and Rangers proving to be very popular.
Karen, who now lives in Glenrothes, said: “The response we’ve had so far has been incredible. Over the years I’ve kept in touch with all of Alyshia’s school friends and a lot of them still live in Kirkcaldy so they’re all coming along on Friday.
“We’ve got Peppa Pig and a facepainter coming along for the kids, a tombola, disco, karaoke and even a burlesque dancer. We’ll also be auctioning off some overnight stays at local hotels, and a tour ofEdinburghfor a family of four.
“I just know that Alyshia would absolutely love this if she was here – especially the karaoke, even though she couldn’t sing for peanuts!”
Rachel McKenzie, community fundraising manager for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We are so thankful to Karen and all of Alyshia’s friends and family for organising this wonderful night in memory of a fantastic wee girl.
“Karen and all of our supporters are integral in helping us smash our fundraising targets year-on-year to enable us to provide support and treatment for children cared for at theRoyalHospitalfor Sick Children. Karen’s fundraising night is jam-packed full of great activities and entertainment and I wish them every success.”
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation helps sick children get better by funding extra medical equipment, improving facilities, financing specialised research and training and providing a wide variety of extra comforts for young patients and their families at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, other health centres in the East of Scotland and in the Community. For more information please visit www.edinburghsickkids.org