max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C


‘She would be proud of us’ – Family of Kerry Thorpe pay tribute one year after her tragic death and discuss growing success of Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust

PUBLISHED: 11:29 23 March 2015

Photo: Josh Nelli.

Photo: Josh Nelli.


One year after her tragic death, Kerry Thorpe continues to inspire.

Josh Nelli and his niece Maisie Nelli. Photo: Josh Nelli Josh Nelli and his niece Maisie Nelli. Photo: Josh Nelli

The Kesgrave youngster bravely battled cystic fibrosis, raising awareness of the condition and the desperate need for people to sign the organ donation register, before sadly passing away on March 21 last year.

Her family and friends marked the poignant one-year anniversary on Saturday – just a few days after redecorating her grave on what would have been her 24th birthday.

Josh Nelli, her loving fiancée, said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of all sorts of emotions. We have all had our time to grieve and it has been very sad at times.

“It was her birthday last Tuesday and it was very much a time for remembering. We put flowers, cards and balloons on her grave. It was lovely with the sun shining and it looked really beautiful.”

Josh Nelli and Kerry Thorpe. Josh Nelli and Kerry Thorpe.

Over the last year, Josh, family, friends and an army of supporters have strived to maintain Kerry’s legacy lives on.

They established the Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust last summer and quickly gained charity status after a “mind-blowing” fundraising response from the community.

Josh said: “The Trust was set-up to continue Kerry’s good work and raise awareness of cystic fibrosis and signing the organ donor register, but people wanted to donate money and we then started grant-wish days for children with cystic fibrosis.

“We also give birthday gifts to children with cystic fibrosis in Suffolk and are just going from strength to strength with everyone’s support.

Photo: Josh Nelli. Photo: Josh Nelli.

“We have got a quiz night in May, our annual golf day in August, my dad and I are doing the London to Paris bike ride in September. Only last Thursday an anonymous Ipswich business donated almost £4,500. They said Kerry’s story had touched them and that she was inspirational.

“There has been so much support for the Trust and we can’t thank everyone enough. Kerry would be proud of us.”

In her short life, Kerry’s fighting spirit shone through and she became an ambassador for Live Life Then Give Life.

She was added to the list for a double lung transplant two years ago, but her call never came. Kerry died from end stage cystic fibrosis at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

Kerry’s mum Jacqui Brett said: “It’s just been an incredibly hard, emotional year without hearing her laugh and I miss her intellect as she was someone you could always have a good debate with. I really feel that loss.

“But I’m also glad she’s no longer suffering or in pain and I look back with great pride at her courage and bravery. We all miss her terribly.”

Josh added: “We want the Trust to be a professional outfit and do Kerry’s memory justice.

“We are perhaps taking our time but we didn’t want it to be a flash-in-the-pan charity where we blew all the money and overstretch ourselves.

“We want it to be here for the long run. We want it to grow and grow – and it is. The last year has been incredibly. We have raised just over £21,000 in the last year. It is crazy.”

If you know a cystic fibrosis sufferer aged 9-16 who is treated at Ipswich Hospital, contact the Trust via its website at


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A woman, believed to be in her 50s was hit by a car earlier this afternoon.

Paramedics Sarah Ford and Emma-Louise Bowen Hillson were behind the ambulance launch and hope it will inspire other women.

I ventured just a few miles down the road from my Ipswich home for a luxury overnight stay, as too often we forget that sometimes the best places to visit are right on our doorstep.

An Ipswich family says a school acted with a ‘lack of compassion’ when it split up two sisters minutes after learning their mother had suffered a miscarriage.

Just weeks from their wedding, a Suffolk couple have told of the stress and anxiety of discovering their chosen venue has shut up shop without warning.

A new housing development led to huge expansion of north Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

West Suffolk College has linked up with the EADT and Ipswich Star to release for sale 10 ‘golden tickets’ to a dinner cooked by students and Albert Roux.

The hoardings around a new Joules store under construction in Ipswich have come away, revealing the brand’s trademark yellow facade.

Train operator Greater Anglia is warning people to stay safe following an increase in trespassing on train tracks

The bank holiday weekend is here and it’s set to be a warm one, but there’s still a chance you might have to swap your bikini or Bermudas for a brollie.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24