Shepparton's Renee Gilchrist was just a teenager when she died after a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis, and her sisters are now honouring her memory by taking raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Australia with a charity dinner.ALEXANDRA BOLKAS June 23, 2014 3:53am
Renee Gilchrist’s sisters remember how her booming laughter would spill down the hallways of the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Her life-long battle with cystic fibrosis — a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system — meant the Shepparton teenager was no stranger to hospitals.
But whether she was pulling pranks on their mum or imitating characters in popular TV shows, Vanessa Crockett said it was happiness that filled their short time with Renee.
‘‘Renee had this calico bag full of plastic spiders which she would use to scare Mum,’’ she said. ‘‘She also liked to mimic comedy shows and we were always laughing at funny movies or things we’d seen on TV.’’
She said often the noise coming from Renee’s hospital room was so loud it raised the curiosity of other families.
‘‘They’d hear laughter in her room when she was on admissions and come down to see what the ruckus was about,’’ Mrs Crockett said.
‘‘But it was just our family laughing and making the best of the situation.’’
Mrs Crockett said she was always in awe of Renee’s positive outlook.
‘‘She loved a joke and was always smiling, she had the most beautiful smile.
‘‘She never complained.’’
Tracey Botterill said Renee’s battle to live with cystic fibrosis as the youngest of eight siblings consumed her family.
‘‘Her life, her health and her wellbeing when she was alive was the core total of our existence,’’ she said. ‘‘We did everything around her health, hospital admissions and her life.’’
Renee’s death in July 1993, at 17, from failing lungs — a complication of her disease — left a gaping hole that remains raw almost 21 years later.
In a cruel twist of fate, Renee died the day she was placed on the national transplant registry for a lung transplant.
‘‘It’s something that you never get over but you learn to live with,’’ Mrs Crockett said.
‘‘Even now, coming up to 21 years, it’s still very raw talking about her and looking at photos.’’
Numurkah District Health Service chief executive Jacqueline Phillips is the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to community health.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
When the wall is in sight, swimmer Nash Ramage finds that little bit extra.
Vandals have uprooted trees along the Campaspe River, leaving Rochester River Reserve Committee president Paul Poort furious and devastated.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Cobram bowler Chris Taylor has been bowling all along Australia’s east coast, and all for a good cause.
The Free family were overwhelmed when stolen fishing equipment was returned to them on Monday night.
SPC Ardmona’s managing director Peter Kelly will end his association with the company when his two-year commitment to the job expires at the end of March.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
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