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Lisa’s fund-raiser remembers a very special daughter




The mother of an Exning schoolgirl, who died as the result of a brain tumour when she was just 10 years old, ran every day in June to raise funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Forty-four-year-old Lisa Bell and husband Andrew, 45, have asked friends and supporters to make a donation to mark their 45th, 46th – and what would have been their daughter Sophie’s17th birthday – to EACH in her memory.

Since Sophie died two days after Christmas in 2012, the couple have raised more than £120,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, through their Sophie’s Smile campaign set up to remember the little girl described as ‘beautiful inside and out with the ability to light up a room with her smile’.

Lisa Bell, with husband Andrew and their son Isaac, 12.
Lisa Bell, with husband Andrew and their son Isaac, 12.

Their fund-raising, supported by their friends and volunteers, included five annual Christmas fairs held in Exning.

The couple decided to change the focus of their fund-raising after hearing of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had had on EACH, which had been so supportive during the last few weeks of Sophie’s life.

“They became a lifeline for us at the end,” said Lisa. “ They moved us in, with a five-year-old son. They fed us, they held us, they played with Sophie and her brother Isaac. They counselled us throughout. They even took Isaac to school on some days. There was no question, no pushiness, no nothing, as we continued to care for our daughter as only we felt we could and they supported us all the way.

Sophie Bell who died in 2012 aged 10. Right: Lisa, who is running every day this month to raise funds for EACH children’s hospices.
Sophie Bell who died in 2012 aged 10. Right: Lisa, who is running every day this month to raise funds for EACH children’s hospices.

“Staying at EACH was Sophie’s choice. She felt warm, safe and comfortable and so did we. It was like a big soft blanket was wrapped around us and we felt loved and cared for. She made the right decision for us all.”

Lisa has so far raised over £2,600 of her £3,000 target for EACH, and was hoping to have covered over 100 miles for the charity by the end of June.

To donate to Lisa’s fund-raiser go to justgiving.com/fundraising/lisa-bell27