Service remembers inspirational Ellie Libby

Ellie Libby
Image caption Ellie died three weeks before her seventh birthday

A special service has been held in memory of a six-year-old girl from Cornwall who inspired plans for a holiday retreat for sick children.

Ellie Libby, the inspiration behind the charity Ellie's Haven, died on 5 January from the effects of a rare genetic condition.

Ellie died 20 days before her seventh birthday, despite doctors saying she would not survive beyond 12 months.

Her father Nigel, from Looe, said his daughter had been "an icon".

A celebration of Ellie's life was held at the Riverside Church in west Looe, followed by a service at the Glynn Valley Crematorium.

Mr Libby said: "The doctors were very unsure. We just thought we'll enjoy Ellie for as long as we can.

"She became inspirational, but I think she has also become an icon for a lot of people with tremendous courage."

The charity, Ellie's Haven, was founded in November 2007 to offer a non-medical, short-break holiday service to children with long-term illnesses and their families.

Mr Libby said: "She had a very tough life. But we have to carry on with the charity because, if not, all the suffering over the last couple of years would have been in vain. The support we've had has been amazing."

The Reverend Ruth Goodland, who conducted the service, said: "Her courage, her dignity, the way she was able to bring and draw out of people love, she was one of the most loving little characters we have known."

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