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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Ulverston girl Alice Pyne’s courage lives on

A SECOND caravan is due to arrive next month as part of an inspirational Ulverston teenager’s lasting legacy.

Alice Pyne proudly founded Alice’s Escapes while dealing with terminal illness. The 17-year-old fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for more than five years and she had long been a fundraiser and campaigner.

Her charity provides holidays for seriously ill children and their families in South Cumbria.

Alice, who won a Pride of Britain award, and attracted world-wide attention with her blog and bucket list, died just a week before her first luxury caravan arrived at Bardsea Leisure Park, Ulverston. Mabel’s Place, named after Alice’s beloved dog, has hosted more than 20 families since last spring, and six more are on their way early this year. The new caravan, Molly’s Place – which will go next to Mabel’s Place, is a custom-built, fully disabled unit for children in wheelchairs.

The charity is very thankful for the support of the caravan park team.

Cathy Broomfield, a trustee of Alice’s Escapes and best friend to Alice’s mum Vicky, said: “Alice was always wise beyond her years. Our Team Alice motto ‘Grit, Courage, Determination’ sums Alice up perfectly. Even more than this, Alice has given us all an inner strength and motivation. Thanks to Alice I have climbed Kilimanjaro, joined the bone marrow register, completed the Keswick to Barrow walk, lifted trophies and helped to provide amazing holidays through Alice’s Escapes – an almost endless list. But, most of all, I have made lifelong friendships – the best thing in life that money just can’t buy.”

Alice’s Escapes will also launch a bereavement group. It will allow bereaved parents to meet up with only those who have experienced the soul destroying loss of a child.

Mrs Pyne said: “Cathy has quite simply been my rock through not only the past year, but for a considerable time prior to that. When you lose a child, the following unwavering support, understanding and empathy has a limit and inevitably, ‘friends’ fade from your side. Child loss is so unbelievably all consuming; they can’t fix your sadness and it begins to impede on their happiness. The reality is, it’s easier to move on. Knowing I have friends like Cathy looking out for me, makes life that bit easier to bear and of course, the charity would not be what it is today without her selfless dedication. I hope there never comes a time but, if desperate times hit, there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for her.”

Alice inspired tens of thousands of people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register. Successful matches like Barrow’s Sean Hagan signed up at Alice’s event in 2010. Mr Hagan who is running The London Marathon in Alice’s honour, for Anthony Nolan, said: “Without Alice’s drive to encourage and educate people about bone marrow/stem cell donation, I would have never of known about the Anthony Nolan register which, of course, means that my recipient would probably not be alive today.

“It’s two years since I donated and next month, Alice is the reason I will be meeting the person whose life I saved. I know her legacy will live on and if anything her name will grow around the world.”

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