Lanterns tribute to Nadine

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PINK balloons and blazing lanterns lit up the sky as hundreds of people bid farewell to Nadine Blake.

Last night people gathered outside in the cold at St Clare’s Avenue in Havant to pay tribute to the 18-year-old who died of cystic fibrosis.

(left) Kayla Hopkins releasing a lantern. ''Lanterns are released by hundreds of people gathered at Warren Dam, Leigh Park, in memory of Nadine Blake who died from Cystic Fibrosis.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (13831-693)

(left) Kayla Hopkins releasing a lantern. ''Lanterns are released by hundreds of people gathered at Warren Dam, Leigh Park, in memory of Nadine Blake who died from Cystic Fibrosis.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (13831-693)

The gathering was organised by Leanna Stratford, 40, of Tidcombe Green, Havant.

She spread the word a week ago and since then more than 100 people said they would light a lantern in the teenager’s memory.

But in the end, more than 200 people turned up to pay their respects yesterday.

Leanna said: ‘It’s very emotional seeing how many people turned up. I never expected this many people.

‘I’ve known Nadine since she was little.

‘I thought this would be a nice way for people to say goodbye to her.

‘She might be gone but as this shows there is no way she will ever be forgotten.’

Leanna was also taking donations on the night for the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Fund at Southampton General Hospital.

Nadine had suffered from complications arising from cystic fibrosis her entire life.

However she didn’t let it stop her doing what she wanted to, despite spending long spells in hospital.

During her final months, she met the cast of The Only Way is Essex and struck up a friendship with pop star Peter Andre.

She died in the arms of her parents, Carl and Becky, last month.

As reported in The News, hundreds of people gathered at her funeral on Friday at St Thomas a Becket’s Church in Warblington.

There was also a procession with hundreds of cars which followed her funeral cortege down Middle Park Way and past Park Community School.

Mickey Parker, 30, from The Warren, said: ‘I think it’s fantastic that so many people turned up to light lanterns for Nadine. It’s really special.

‘We’ve started raising money for the unit at Southampton General Hospital where Nadine was being treated. They want to build a garden there for the people to use so we’re going to 
help with that in any way we can.’