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’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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