Ellie to star in global meningitis campaign

Essex County Standard: Ellie to star in global meningitis campaign Ellie to star in global meningitis campaign

INSPIRATIONAL Ellie Challis is set to feature in a global meningitis awareness campaign.

Ellie, nine, of Little Clacton, lost her limbs to meningitis in 2005 and became the youngest person in the world to be fitted with carbon fibre sports legs.

She took part in a shoot by celebrated children’s photographer Anne Geddes, in Camden, North London, for the Protecting Our Tomorrows meningitis campaign.

Ellie’s dad, Paul, said: “It is an important campaign and we don’t want anyone else to go through what Ellie has been though.

“We are happy to do anything we can do to raise awareness of the disease.

“It was also a great opportunity for Ellie to be photographed by a world-renowned photographer and she took some amazing pictures.”

Ellie, a pupil at Engaines Primary School in Little Clacton, was photographed with twin sister Sophie.

The campaign, backed by the Meningitis Research Foundation and Meningitis Now charities, is aimed at helping parents to spot early warning signs.

Mrs Geddes will be launching a book as part of World Meningitis Day on April 24.

She said: “It was such a pleasure to meet the Challis family and, in particular, to photograph Ellie and Sophie together.

“As a photographer to feature these two beautiful little girls in a series such as this was a gift.

“The contrast between the twins will always be a poignant reminder to the family, and the twins themselves, of what might have been.

“However, I have a distinct feeling that in so many ways, Ellie will triumph over her situation.

“She’s an independent and very determined little girl.”

Dad Paul said: “At Ellie’s age she is not overly aware of what the campaign is all about, but she knows it’s all for meningitis.

“She is just one of those children who are happy to get on with it and she enjoyed the day.

“I’m very proud of her.

“It is a privilege for her to be asked to take part in it and we are happy to give something back to the Meningitis Trust.

“We just hope by raising awareness there will be more early diagnosis.

“It will be worth it if just one child does not have to go through what Ellie did.”

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