Tragic Ellie Mowforth's picture will help send poorly kids to Lapland
A PICTURE made by a little girl who has died from a rare brain tumour, will help send other poorly children to Lapland.
Ellie Mowforth died at the weekend in her Cottingham home, 11 months after being diagnosed on her sixth birthday.
Last month, her dad John and mum Lisa joined their daughter on an emotional trip to see Santa in Lapland.
Eighty-six children who made the trip to the winter wonderland were asked by organisers, When You Wish Upon A Star, to draw a picture that summed up the treat.
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Ellie's picture, featuring a sleigh ride through an Enchanted Forest, impressed Joanne Heywood, the charity's area manager, so much she suggested it be used for their 2013 Christmas card.
Profits will be used to help pay for sick children to make future trips.
John, 53, said: "We can not think of a better way to honour our beautiful, special little girl.
"Today, we are a very proud mummy and daddy."
John and Lisa told their daughter of the plan for her brightly coloured picture on Christmas Eve.
"She was so pleased," he said. "She loved making pictures."
Joanne said: "I put Ellie's picture on my Facebook profile, because it was so vibrant and seemed to sum up the trip.
"Someone said it should be made into our Christmas card.
"I put the idea forward and, as a charity, we all agreed."
In light of Ellie's death, the charity contacted John and Lisa to check if they still wanted the picture using for a card.
Joanne said: "They were very keen for the plan to continue.
"It's very important for any parent who has lost a lost to know that their child's life meant something.
"The Christmas card, featuring Ellie's lovely picture, will do just that."
When You Wish Upon A Star has teamed up with the Co-operative to help sell the cards.
It is hoped thousands of pounds will be raised, helping significantly towards the £85,000 cost of sending 80 or more children, along with parents and nurses, to Lapland.
Joanne said: "We hope to do very well from this card."
When You Wish Upon A Star was devastated to learn of Ellie's death in the early hours of Sunday, she said.
"Ellie was a very special little girl and so very brave.
"When I saw her in Lapland, she was very happy and very smiley.
"Even though she was very poorly, she managed to enjoy the trip.
"From speaking to her parents, John and Lisa, it is clear Ellie was loved very dearly."
John and Lisa said the response to yesterday's article in the Mail, in which they paid moving tribute to their daughter, has been heart-warming.
"I must have read it dozens of times," John said. "We have had so many phone calls from people.
"It has been lovely, overwhelming and it has really helped us."
The couple plan to give donations from Ellie's funeral to When You Wish Upon A Star.
Visit whenyouwishuponastar.org.uk for more information.
Video: When You Wish Upon A Star visit to Lapland, featuring Ellie Mowforth and her parents