Village unites for Carla's hospice fund

A SUFFOLK teenager's memory is living on today thanks to a tribute fund for other terminally ill patients.

A SUFFOLK teenager's memory is living on today thanks to a tribute fund for other terminally ill patients.

Carla Dawson battled bone cancer for eight years before she died in Ipswich's St Elizabeth Hospice, aged 19, in December 2003.

Now her mother, Ronnie, has set up the Carla Dawson Tribute Fund in aid of the hospice in her honour.

More than £1,000 has already gone into the fund, which was set up this year, thanks to a garage sale in Carla's home village of Brantham.

Mrs Dawson said: “I'm so pleased to have been able to start the fund; it keeps the memory of her alive.

“I remember her as just the same little girl that I brought into the world.

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“You don't expect to outlive your own daughter, but she's not suffering now.

“She would be very proud of her family and friends raising money for the hospice.”

Mrs Dawson, of Brooklands Road, said: “Originally Carla really didn't want to go to the hospice. She thought that was where people go to die.

“But in the end she went there because she was in so much pain and they managed that brilliantly.

“In the end she said 'take me back to the hospice'. They were superb.

“I feel like I want to give something back.”

A garage sale in the village has been held every year since Carla died.

More than 45 homes took part in the latest event and, although the total amount raised has not yet been calculated, Mrs Dawson is confident it will be more than £1,000 which will be split between Carla's fund and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

n Would you like to pay a tribute to Carla Dawson? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

Carla Dawson

CARLA was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma, a type of cancer which develops in new tissue and growing bones, in her leg two months into her first year at East Bergholt High School.

She had several operations and courses of chemotherapy but decided a year before her death not to undergo any more chemotherapy after learning the cancer had spread to her lungs.

Before she died she fulfilled her dream of swimming with dolphins when she and her mum went on a trip to Mexico.

She lost her long blonde hair twice but refused to wear a wig and instead wore her trademark black floppy hat, and a baseball cap.

She was a keen horse-rider and joined the Riding for the Disabled Association and entered and won some competitions.