18th birthday fundraiser to remember Amelia

Amelia would have turned 18 this weekend
Amelia would have turned 18 this weekend

Friends and family are throwing a party for a Shoreham school girl who died of a rare blood disorder to celebrate what would have been her 18th birthday.

Amelia LeClercq was 14 when she was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the body’s bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells, in April 2013.

The Shoreham College student, described by her mother as a ‘remarkable’ girl who was ‘courteous, gracious and brave’, desperately needed a bone marrow transplant – but by the time a match was found it was too late, and she died in August 2013 after developing septicaemia.

Now, four years later, her best friend Ella Scammell decided to throw a birthday bash in her honour, to help raise funds for blood disorder charity Anthony Nolan.

Ella, 18, said: “We thought, why can’t we still celebrate? She’s still here with us.”

School friends, family members and teachers have been invited to the ticketed event, which will be held this Saturday at St Peter’s Church Hall in Shoreham.

Ella, of Greenacres, Shoreham, said of Amelia: “She had lots of friends. She was really popular.”

Ella has arranged welcome drinks, a performance from a Shoreham College band and a raffle.

Her mother, Corinna Scammell, has helped arrange the raffle prizes, which include restaurant meals and even two tickets to Wild Life Festival.

“The support has been amazing,” she said, “Strangers have been dropping off bottles of prosecco to contribute.”

She is hoping the event will raise awareness of blood disorders and becoming a donor.

“We want to promote how easy it is to go on the register and how important it is,” she said.

“People think it will hurt, when 95 per cent of the time it’s just a blood test.”

It costs Anthony Nolan £60 to put one person on the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry, so they are trying to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

Amelia had developed the illness out-of-the-blue. She began feeling weak and tired, and started bruising heavily.

Doctors told her the disease was so rare, that only around 30 people a year are diagnosed with it.

A bone marrow match was found for her from a 22-year-old German woman – which could have saved her life.

But Amelia had become too ill for her body to manage a transplant and sadly died.

Almost £2,000 has already been raised for Anthony Nolan through the party.

Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit her justgiving page

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