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.’’
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May, the Riverine Herald will shed light on the debilitating, yet controversial, illness through the eyes of those fighting it.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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