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.’’
UPDATE: The CFA has clarified a fire, which destroyed a Benalla shed, occurred next to a motorcycle clubhouse.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
MY LIFE as a mum is crazy.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
The usual yellow and black colours at Katamatite Recreation Reserve will be replaced this Mother’s Day as pink will be the colour of choice.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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