A little girl who waged an amazing fight for life before finally losing her brave battle has inspired a lasting legacy.
For today is Essie Day - named after little Essie Cobbett - one of triplets - who proved to be a determined fighter when she was born with catastrophic brain damage.
Essie’s family - mum Lorna, dad Steve, brother Roman and sister Eva - declared April 19 as Essie Day in a tribute to their cherished Essie, as well as a tribute to Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.
With the help of the hospice, Lorna and Steve were able to bring Essie home to Horsham for her final months before she lost her battle on August 13 last year, aged 18 months.
The family formed Team Essie and embarked on a huge fundraising campaign for Chestnut Tree House and Essie Day is when a day of care at the hospice is paid for.
It’s been made possible by funds totalling £21,000 raised from over 100 runners taking part as Team Essie in the Littlehampton 10k in September 2017.
Mum Lorna said “Essie might have only lived for 18 months, but she fought so hard during her little life and never gave up. If love alone was enough, Essie would have lived forever and made even more precious memories with her triplet brother and sister.
“We simply cannot ever repay Chestnut Tree House for all that they have done for our family and especially for our darling Essie. Saying ‘thank you’ just isn’t enough, but it is a start.
“I hope you never need to use a children’s hospice, such as Chestnut Tree House, but the fact they exist is something we will be truly thankful for every day.
“We want Essie’s Day to be the day that Essie’s life is celebrated, as this is the day she finally came home from hospital after being born aged 11 weeks old.”
Lorna and Steve now hope that more people will support their fundraising campaign in memory of little Essie by taking part in the Littlehampton 10k run on September 9. They want to get 200 runners to take part.
Added Lorna: “You might have never run, but that doesn’t matter for Team Essie – walk, jog or run you’ll be doing your part to help us get 200 runners taking part in the Littlehampton 10k for our beautiful daughter’s memory and help to raise £20,000 for Chestnut Tree House. Everyone is welcome – friends, family and strangers – and we hope to achieve a sea of red T-shirts on September 9, as red was Essie’s favourite colour.”