In the memory of Avah

Five years ago the Ritchie family lost a very important part of their family. Avah was just two years old when she passed away in the Very Special Kids Hospice, after spending much of her short life in hospital.

Born at just 25 weeks old Avah weighed only 425g and had a rare genetic disorder, cerebral palsy, heart issues, and chronic lung disease and was unable to communicate verbally.

Although 19 out of 25 months of her life were spent in hospital, Avah and her older sister Kennedy become inseparable.

Wherever Kennedy went, Avah had to go too. They enjoyed dressing up, putting on puppet shows and watching movies together.

After Avah passed away, Kennedy went through an extremely hard time, but strived to remain positive. Kennedy, now 10, attends sibling days regularly, “that’s the biggest thing for us- we don’t have a lot of family and Kennedy doesn’t want to talk to her friends about Avah but sibling days give her the opportunity to talk about her” said her mum Amanda.

kennedy ritchieAvah Ritchie 012

The Ritchie’s also have a family volunteer for Kennedy, and Amanda says she’s like family now.

“Lauren is like a big sister, if Kennedy didn’t have that she might be missing out, they get along so well, which is absolutely wonderful.”

Kennedy’s parents, Amanda and Christian, have also attended a Bereaved Parent Weekend, Lord Somers Camp and come to the Very Special Kids fair every year.

This year the family will be participating in the Treadmill Challenge for the fifth time, and Kennedy cannot wait.

“She absolutely loves it, the last year we did it she was there the whole day, from the start in the morning until nine at night, and she had an absolute ball, motivating everyone around her” said Amanda.

Bereavement support is a large part of what Very Special Kids does, and if you would like to support families like the Ritchies, sponsor a runner at the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge by heading here:

the ritchies