'Beautiful' Johdi Russell to be remembered at charity ball

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 March 2018

Johdi Russell.

Johdi Russell.

Sub

A family will remember their 'beautiful, kind and caring' daughter and celebrate her 18th birthday with a charity ball this weekend.

Johdi Russell with her boyfriend.Johdi Russell with her boyfriend.

Tanya Russell and her family pledged to raise hundreds of pounds in memory of teenager Johdi Russell who died last year of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

Tanya hopes to raise awareness about the risks of epilepsy after her 17-year-old daughter Johdi died in October last year.

She said her daughter had suffered with epilepsy for a number of years before dying of SUDEP at her home in Cheddar on October 5.

The family will host their inaugural purple ball at Weston’s Grand Pier, in Marine Parade, on Saturday where more than 250 people will enjoy a three-course meal, disco, raffle and silent auction.

Johdi Russell with her mum Tanya.Johdi Russell with her mum Tanya.

The event will raise money for SUDEP Action, a charity which is dedicated to researching the unexpected deaths.

Tanya said the past five months since Johdi died have been ‘horrendous’ but organising the event has ‘really helped her’ with her grief.

She added: “It has been really awful and we have had to get through Christmas, New Year and her birthday but there are still a lot of firsts without her.

“I promised myself I would allow myself my emotions and to cry when I want to cry and to remember her.

Johdi Russell with her friend Ed.Johdi Russell with her friend Ed.

“She was a beautiful, kind and caring girl.

“She would be proud to have this ball in her honour and we hope to make it an annual event to raise money for a small charity who have been amazing to us.”

The silent auction and raffle will feature high-value prizes including a signed Manchester United football, a signed Arsenal Football Club photo and a set of signed boxing gloves from former world champion Kell Brook.

There will also be an £800 Mulberry bag and a year’s gym membership to Fit4AllStudios.

Johdi – who attended Kings Of Wessex Academy in Station Road, Cheddar – would have celebrated her 18th birthday earlier this month so the family decided to organise the event to coincide with the landmark occasion.

If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket, contact Tanya on tanyard39@icloud.com or visit www.sudep.org to make a donation in Johdi’s memory.

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