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Kind-hearted Haverhill schoolgirl raising money to help people living with mitochondria

A nine-year-old girl is raising money for a charity that helps people who have a complex, debilitating and life-limiting medical disorder.

Chloe Hoddicott, of Parkside, in Haverhill, took the decision to raise money for the Lily Foundation because two of her friends, sisters Lily and Willow Bamber, aged five and 10 respectively, have mitochondria.

The St Felix Primary School pupil, who used to attend the same school as Lily and Willow (Clements Primary Academy in Haverhill) came up with the fund-raising idea out of the blue, as her mum Becky Brett explained.

Chloe Hoddinott, rear, with sisters Lily (left) and Willow Bamber. Contributed picture
Chloe Hoddinott, rear, with sisters Lily (left) and Willow Bamber. Contributed picture

“She came out of her room one day and said ‘mum, I’m going to raise money for the Lily Foundation.’

“The Lily Foundation is special to her because she’s got two friends called Lily and Willow Bamber and they’ve got mitochondrial disease.

“She is making cards and I’ve set up a Just Giving page.

“She has had stuff donated to her which I’m trying to sell on Facebook and all the money is going to the Lily Foundation, and she is nine-years-old.”

Mitochondrial disease, for which there is currently no cure, can cause seizures, fatigue, vision and hearing loss, cognitive disabilities, respiratory problems or poor growth.

Any of the body’s organs and systems can be affected including the brain, heart, lungs, gut, liver and skin.

Chloe’s brother Kristian, 11, donated money of his own to get her fund-raising started, as Becky explained.

“Kristian donated his holiday money to kick start it and I’m proud of him for doing that.

“He donated £5. It’s not a lot of money but it is a lot for a child.

“Chloe wanted to do something for charity and she said I know I can raise money for the Lily Foundation, which in turn will help Lily and Willow.”

Becky feels that sharing what her daughter is doing can only help a good cause – one that is close to her child’s heart.

She added: “It’s mainly about trying to see if anyone would donate or buy her cards that she has been making or just donate to her Just Giving page.”

According to The Lily Foundation’s own website, the charity was founded in 2007 by Liz Curtis, in memory of her daughter Lily, who died from mitochondrial disease at eight months old.

Finding little in the way of specialist knowledge or support available to help her through her ordeal, Liz set out to provide answers for herself and others in her situation.

What began as an informal network of family and friends quickly grew into a national charity which today supports over 300 families.

At the latest count, Chloe has raised £198.60, exceeding her initial target of £150.

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