herald

Friday 29 August 2014

Family strips off to raise funds for Jade's charity

FAMILY members of a little girl who died last year have stripped off in a bid to raise money for a charity set up in her name.

The women revealed all in aid of the Jade Foundation Calendar, in honour of 11-year-old Jade Henderson.

The youngster, from Loughlinstown in south Dublin, lost her life in July after battling a range of ailments -- including epilepsy, cerebral palsy and blindness -- since she was a baby.

The calendar was the idea of Jade's aunt Sabrina who features alongside Jade's mum Gillian, her aunt Niamh and a number of friends.

Special

The foundation was set up in July by Jade's heartbroken mum Gillian Henderson and her uncle Graham Keane, to raise vital funds for St Joseph's School For The Blind in Drumcondra (Child Vision) who looked after Jade.

"Jade was only with us for 11 years, but she was such a special girl and she touched everyone she met and put a smile on all of our faces," Jade's uncle Graham told the Herald.

"We just wanted to do something to give back to St Joseph's School who did so much for Jade when she was alive and to help other children who need vital care like Jade," he added.

The calendar was shot last October by Jade's grandad Peter Keane, who is a qualified photographer.

"We all met up in the house and everyone had ideas about what type of photo they wanted to do and what kind of props they would use," Jade's mum Gillian told the Herald.

"Jade's birthday was in March so that's why I wanted to feature for that month, but everyone had an input and the girls were wonderful," added Gillian, who posed in the calendar sitting on a vintage motorcycle.

Awareness

The calendar is just one in a long list of fundraising projects which have been created for the Jade Foundation.

The charity has also visited local schools to speak to classes about awareness and helping in the community.

Other fundraising projects include cake sales, charity walks, runs and a swim on behalf of the charity is also on the cards.

And Jade's uncle Graham has shed three stone in under a year since he began intensive training for a gruelling triathlon challenge to fundraise for the foundation.

Graham will compete in the Ironman Wales next September where he will have to complete a 2.4-mile swim in open water, cycle for 112 miles and then run for 26.2 miles.

"The support I have been getting is unbelievable; Stag Cycles in Lucan donated a bike to me for the challenge and Urban Fitness in Blackrock have helped me with my training," said Graham.

Gillian gave up work to look after Jade, who did not walk, along with her mother Carol, who was Jade's carer.

Gillian has since returned to college to study beauty therapy and balances this with the charity work.

Song

The Jade Foundation was officially launched on December 1 at Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan, Dublin, and an official song for the foundation will be launched in April.

The song is called Angel and was written and performed by an artist named Arzo, who is a music student at Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute.

The calendars can be purchased through the Jade Foundation Facebook page or by emailing the charity at jadefoundationireland @gmail.com.

hnews@herald.ie

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