Helping to raise £50,000 helped Laura McPhee's mother cope with the death of her daughter
A CHARITY set up by the bereaved parents of a little girl, who died because of asthma, will hit the £50,000 mark before its second birthday in January.
As reported, Humberston schoolgirl Laura McPhee sadly died of an asthma attack on December 4, 2010, leaving her parents Roy and Trace devastated.
As a way of coming to terms with their loss, the couple set up the Laura McPhee Memorial Fund to raise money for asthma equipment so other parents would not have to go through the same thing.
The group has already raised £47,000 and with money still due to come in from sponsored events completed, the charity committee expects to raise more than £50,000 before its second birthday on January 11.
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Numerous events have been held in her memory – from sponsored sleepwalks to charity race nights.
The fund has also attracted the support of more than 25 celebrities, including Peter Andre and Gordon Ramsay.
Mum Trace thanked everyone in the community who has supported the charity, without which she said she "couldn't have coped" through what have been the hardest two years of her life.
"When I lost Laura I was numb for a year, so in some ways this last year has been even harder, and at times, I just wanted to end it and be with her," said Trace.
"I would think of the charity and how we can help children with asthma so that other parents don't have to suffer like we have and it has got me through."
The charity has bought 18 machines which monitor oxygen levels in the blood and has another eight on order, amounting to well over £20,000.
Daniel was bought a saturation machine by the charity.
His mum Linda said: "My son has cerebral palsy. He can catch pneumonia easily so we have to keep an eye on his oxygen levels so we can spot problems earlier and get him to the hospital.
"Daniel has had to carry a machine the size of two bricks around with him. It is heavy and can't get wet, so every time we go out for the day or even just to the shops, it can make things very difficult.
"Recently, the Laura McPhee Memorial Fund brought us a portable machine which is much smaller and lighter – and it has changed our lives.
"He goes to Humberston Park School and I know one of the committee members, Debbie, who is also a parent there.
"When they heard about Daniel they wanted to help. It is fantastic what they are doing."
Within the first year, doctors at Grimsby's Diana Princess of Wales Hospital said that equipment the charity bought had already saved three lives.
Last Christmas, Trace bought more than £2,000 worth of toys for the children's A&E ward at the Grimsby hospital.
And next year, the group will focus on raising awareness about the dangers of the condition, as well as funds for equipment.
"People say 'it is only asthma' – but asthma took our daughter so people need to be aware of how serious it is," she said.
Debbie Taylor, committee member, said: "We want to go into schools so that people are aware of the symptoms, so that they can get treated, as those few extra minutes you get from knowing what to do could save a life."
Trace and Roy have visited Laura's grave every day since she died.
They have a son Lewis, 19, who is hoping to join the forces next year.
Trace added: "It's so nice to see that he is achieving something with his life, despite everything that he has been through – although I worry that I will lose him, too.
"Moving on with your life is something Laura never got to do and I don't think I ever will but Lewis and her were really close and it is what she would have wanted."
If you can help the Laura McPhee Memorial Fund, call Trace on 07983436643, or visit www.lauramcpheememorial.webs.com