Balloons were released into the sky when a memorial bench dedicated to Nikey Robinson was unveiled at the park where she played as a child.
The family of the 23-year-old marked the third anniversary since her tragic death from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) when they gifted the memorial bench to the villagers of Doddington last week.
It came as the family, who have raised more than £20,000 to fund research into the condition, get ready to stage two more fundraisers in the coming months.
Nikey, of March, died in her sleep on March 21, 2013, and her family have been campaigning to raise funds and awareness ever since.
Mum Caron Robinson said: “For our third year without Nik, we decided to gift this beautiful memorial bench to the people of Doddington, placed on the park where Nik played for many hours as a child.
“Inscribed on the bench are the words ‘She lived laughed loved and grew here. Cherished Nikey 20.5.89-21.3.13.”
Surrounded by neighbours and well-wishers, Mrs Robinson unveiled the bench with Nikey’s sister Ceri Swanson at the park on Manor Estate, Doddington, where Nikey played while growing up.
Purple balloons with personal messages to Nikey were also released one-by-one into the sky by her nephew and nieces.
“The people who came all knew of Nikey and her story with epilepsy and sadly our loss,” said Mrs Robinson, of Doddington.
“Our aim is always to celebrate her life and how much she achieved despite her epilepsy. It never stopped her at all; I could write a book of her fights and achievements.”
People also gave Mrs Robinson purple flowers in Nikey’s memory. “Purple was one of Nik’s favourite colours and ironically the supporting colour of epilepsy and SUDEP,” she said.
The family have organised and taken part in a huge array of fundraisers in Nikey’s memory over the years, including race nights, discos, zumbathons, charity balls and even a firewalk.
The next fundraising event in aid of SUDEP Action, which works to save lives and support bereaved families, is a family bingo at Westwood Primary School (Maple site) in Maple Grove, March, on Friday, April 15. Doors open at 6.30pm.
Then, on Saturday, May 21, to coincide with National Epilepsy Week, the family is holding a 1970s charity ball for SUDEP Action, again at Westwood Primary School – but this time on the Oak site.
Tickets cost £20 each including supper and entertainment. To buy tickets, contact Mrs Robinson on 07762 969693 or find her on Facebook.