WHEN Ellie-May Sheridan heard her school was planning a trip to Africa, she jumped at the chance to go.
The 14-year-old, who attends Springfield School in Drayton, Portsmouth, did not even consider the challenges she might face due to an illness she has.
The selfless teenager has problems with her spine, legs, hips and organs due to the unnamed syndrome and has had to undergo several operations.But that has not stopped Ellie from wanting to go to Kenya and help children in need.
She said: ‘I am really excited about going with the school.
‘We will be building huts and water pumps for the children who don’t have access to clean water.’
Ellie, a Year 10 pupil, has to raise more than £2,000 for the trip which takes place next year. She is working alongside friends to help raise the money and they have organised some events to boost donations.
‘I have to raise £2,200 to go,’ she added.
‘I am doing lots of things to help me get there. My friends have been really supportive and we are doing it all together.’
Ellie’s mum Katherine Reed said she was proud of her daughter for wanting to help others despite what she goes through every day.
They have worked with Springfield School to ensure she stays well while in Kenya.
Katherine said: ‘In a few months, Ellie will be having another big operation but she doesn’t let these things deter her.
‘When she came home and said she wanted to go, initially I was unsure because she would be away from me for 10 days. But she has always had an interest in Africa and wanting to help others.
‘It blows me away how determined she is and I am so proud of her and the other kids. I am also grateful to the school for supporting her wanting to go.’
As previously reported in The News, in January Ellie had an operation to have bolts taken from her spine and two permanent rods and bolts inserted.
Katherine organised a party before the surgery and music artist Professor Green, of whom Ellie is a huge fan, turned up as a surprise to drive her to the venue.
To make a donation towards Ellie’s trip visit gofundme.com/62zk0aw