An inspiring teenager battling a serious illness has been given a lifetime achievement award for her efforts to raise awareness of the condition.
Ellie Pugh was just seven when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which affects her digestive system and causes joint problems and mouth ulcers.
She began fund-raising to support charity Crohn’s And Colitis UK and has so far raised £6,620.
Still just 13, she has won Crohn’s And Colitis UK’s Alex Demain Lifetime Awareness Award for working tirelessly to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Ellie, a pupil at St Mary’s RC High School in Astley, said: “Crohn’s and Colitis UK have been with us since I was diagnosed and I think it’s important that people have somewhere they can go to for help and information.
“There are so many people suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I think more people either experience this or know someone who does, but there are still a lot of people who mistake IBD for IBS and they’re two completely different things, and the secondary conditions that come with IBD like rheumatoid arthritis and fatigue can be just as bad.
“As well I would like to thank my teachers and the other students at school who have been supportive and for the efforts in fund-raising for Crohn’s And Colitis UK. That means a lot to me.”
Ellie, from Leigh, raised £410 by taking part in the charity’s Manchester WALK IT, one of several walks held on 5km and 10km routes around the country to boost funds.
She held a non-uniform day with face-painting at school and ran a Christmas card donation campaign, asking people to give money instead of sending cards.
She is now organising another fund-raiser at St Mary’s.
Donations to Ellie’s fund-raising appeal can be made at www.justgiving.com/digdeepforellie.
To take part in Crohn’s And Colitis UK’s WALK IT events and help to raise funds, go to www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/get-involved.