In loving tribute to Alexandriana Evangelia Inglis

“Ellie”

People would always say to me “You have a teenager daughter? Wow, that must be hard work!”. But Ellie was as far removed from any image of a stereotypical teenager that you could imagine.

Ellie was kind, respectful, gentle, loving, intelligent, quiet but fiercely determined and strong. She knew herself. She didn’t follow the crowd, she wasn’t interested in what everyone else was doing, she happily would do her own thing without a second thought to whether it was cool, trendy or fashionable. Which is exactly what made her unique and stand out in a crowd.

Ellie loved life and wanted to soak up every moment and every experience she was offered. Whether it was gazing at the stars in the sky, enjoying nature and the outdoors, or simply having a hug because in her own words “I like hugs”.

She had a beautiful innocence about her – gently spoken, well considered and yet a sharp sense of humour, highly creative and imaginative.

Ellie was reliable, helpful and trustworthy. She was very shy at times but with a little encouragement she would find her voice and shine. She was sporty and arty. She loved walking and running and took part in lots of after school activities. She was the only girl at her primary school football club, playing as goalkeeper no less. It was always funny to see her petite self with giant goalkeeping gloves. She did running at Crystal Palace and played netball at school. Her love for all things sporty led her to becoming a sports leader where she would help out at sports events for younger children.

Ellie also had a great love for art, design, crafts and photography. She would go out with her dad to take photographs and was particularly proud that one of her images appeared in Canary Wharf’s magazine, and had some of her art displayed at an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Ellie’s zest for life didn’t stop even when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in May 2019 aged just 15. She approached her illness with calm, maturity, strength and positivity. She would rarely complain about the endless procedures and cycles of treatment she was receiving. She saw the positives in everything that came her way – even her illness. Being thrown into the unknown world of hospitals, doctors, nurses and medical terms didn’t faze her. She took it all in her stride and didn’t allow it to stop her. In fact she grew in confidence and was suddenly presented with new opportunities, experiences and friendships. Although she could no longer attend school, she continued studying for her GCSEs at home. Even when she wasn’t feeling her best, she would still pull out her books, and get on with it and it all paid off.

School meant a lot to Ellie, but unfortunately following her GCSEs, she had to take a year out to have further treatment. She couldn’t wait to go back and in September 2021, the day finally arrived when she could finally start college to study Art and Design. She was so excited that she had planned everything – from her outfits, to her bag, to her planner and pens and pencils. This was a fresh start and she was going to grab it with both hands and relish every moment. Although she was only able to attend physically for around the first month, she would still log in to lessons from home and try to take part as much as she could.

Ellie was aware of how fortunate she was to have people around her who could help and support her, and give her everything that she could possibly want and need. She was amazed at the care and attention given to her by hospital staff, but also acknowledged that those closest to her may feel a little frightened, worried or alienated by her diagnosis. In particular she was worried that her brother may feel left out by the attention on her while she was ill and that’s when Tribe Charity was born. Her own charity to not just focus on the child with cancer, but on everyone affected by it. She worked on what the charity would do, the design of the logo, social media posts and ideas for fundraising. It was something she truly wanted to make a success, and that she had a passion for.

The last few months of Ellie’s life were spent in and out of hospital, but this didn’t stop her incredible resolve to just get on with it. From being VIP guests at a Chelsea football match, to going to see the Christmas lights in the West End, looking at the stars on clear nights, reading book after book, shopping, having breakfast at the cafe, enjoying lunch out together and going to the cinema. Life was full and busy. Always willing, always wanting to learn and explore new things.

Everywhere she went, Ellie left her mark. Her gentleness and warm smile always made an impression be it with friends, family, nurses, doctors and shop assistants. Everyone.

Ellie epitomises courage, joy and gratitude. Always happy. Always willing, encouraging, kind and helpful. She touched lives in ways she didn’t even realise. So now that we are here, in this situation let’s not think about the what ifs, but instead let’s remember the what’s. What Ellie loved, what Ellie did, what Ellie has taught us. She hated the thought of making anyone unhappy, and she would never want us all to feel sad, so let’s celebrate Ellie’s life and celebrate the 18 wonderful years she gave us.

Find out more about Ellie’s charity at www.tribe-charity.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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