Leeds girl overcomes illness to become online fundraiser

SPECIAL PAIR: Robert Addelman, who had leukaemia as a child, and daughter Evie, who has Crohn's disease. PIC: James Hardisty
SPECIAL PAIR: Robert Addelman, who had leukaemia as a child, and daughter Evie, who has Crohn's disease. PIC: James Hardisty
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SHe may only be nine, but Evie Addelman is already harnessing the power of social media.

The youngster has her own blog and Twitter page which has been endorsed by celebrity supporters - including magician Dynamo - and she has raised £1,500 for charity.

Evie is supporting Crohn’s and Colitis UK as she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last year.

She wants to support the charity’s studies into the illness – after her dad survived childhood leukaemia and she and her brother Sam were conceived through fertility treatment.

“Without research my dad wouldn’t have survived. Without research my brother and I wouldn’t be here,” she said.

“Without research we can’t help people like me who are struggling with Crohn’s.”

Evie’s dad Robert underwent years of treatment for leukaemia as a child and was warned he might never have children.

After marrying Evie’s mum Ruth, they were able to have their son Sam, now 14, through fertility treatment.

They had five more unsuccessful attempts before Ruth fell pregnant with Evie, but during pregnancy there were complications.

Ruth, 45, said: “The nurse said ‘she’s a tough cookie’. It’s true, she’s amazing. She’s been to hell and back.”

Evie, from Alwoodley, Leeds, was healthy until starting with stomach cramps in 2011. Tests came back clear, but by 2013 she was in constant pain and couldn’t eat. She was referred to hospital where doctors initially did not think it was bowel disease. After her dad persisted, she underwent further tests – which showed she had Crohn’s and was extremely poorly.

The youngster had surgery and had to go on strong steroids – which she named her Barbie Pink Tablets.

Throughout her time in hospital, she was accompanied by her fluffy badgers Boris and Bessy, who now appear on her blog.

Evie is now back home and on medication, although she still gets very tired.

After being helped by her specialist nurse, she decided to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

The Leeds branch of the charity had over 5,000 hits on its website after publicising her story, her Twitter page had attracted celebrity support and she has collected £1,500 on Justgiving.

She is now gearing up for a sponsored walk in Roundhay Park on April 27.

Evie said: “I want to show people that you can look normal on the outside, but on the inside you’re not.”

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