8:30 a.m., May 31)
Navan Walk of Hope a shining example of a young girl's
By Fred Sherwin
parents Brian and Ali Billings hold up a picture
of their daughter Hannah, who passed away
from cancer in 2007 at the age of 10, and
who continues to inspire the community in
which she lived. Fred Sherwin/Photo
sun was shining as about 40 participants set out on the
Navan Walk of Hope on Sunday in memory of a nine-year-old
girl who passed away from cancer in 2007 and ultimately
touched the lives of an entire community.
was a special little girl whose heroic battle with cancer
continues to inspire her parents Ali and Brian, her two
older sisters Meghan and Olivia, and the community at
large, seven years after her passing.
first Walk of Hope was held in 20014, as a means to help
raise money for the Hannah Billings Emergenchy Fund which
provides support for families in financial crisis arising
from a medical emergency.
Fund is managed by the Navan Lions Club in consultation
with the Billings family. The club is instrumental in
raising money for the fund throuugh efforts like the Walk
of Hope and the 50/50 draw that is held every year during
the demolition derby at the Navan Fair.
the fund was established in 2007, $36,500 has been disbursed
to families to help cover their expenses.
Hannah's mother Ali, the fund is an extension of Hannah's
life and her desire to help others right up until the
end. The fund is also a means by which the Navan community
can continue to honour a 10-year-old girl who touched
their lives in such a profound way by supporting her family
and her continuing legacy.
crying Navan has been absolutely marvelous. They have
literally held us up," says Billings. "They
came to our aid right from the very beginning when Hannah
was first diagnosed. They brought us meals, support, kind
words, encouragement and that's continued. That hasn't
waivered. They have continued to support us in many different
level of support goes both ways. The Billings family regularly
supports the CHEO telethon and other fundraising efforts.
They also counsel other parents and families going through
what they went through.
today I had a couple of moms who have lost their daughters
approach me," said Ali following Sunday's walk. "We
all lean on each other to be honest. Candlelighters has
bee n a huge support to families who have lost children.
Rogers House also has a bereavement group."
lasting impact on the community is a matter of great prode
for her family which continues to draw inspiration from
her as well.
impacts every decision we make as a family as far as the
charity functions we do," says Ali. "She keeps
us moving forward every day. She keeps us with a positive
attititude. I'm vvery proud of who Hannah was a person."
find out more about the Hannah Billings Emergency Fund
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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