Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Gracie's Birthday Book - a moving tribute

Andy Hopkinson | 11th December 2020

A moving tribute to a young baby girl who died from meningitis is proving popular in the fight back against the disease

Gracie's Birthday Book tribute to meningitis victim

Gracie’s Birthday Book describes how she celebrates her birthday in Angel Land while watching down on her family. It’s been written by Gracie’s grandmother Dawn Bruce for her other grandchildren, with illustrations donated by a family member.

Dawn said: “My granddaughter, Gracie Louise Kerr has had a tribute fund with you since her death almost 12 years ago and we have raised £44,000 for Meningitis Now by holding various events.   

“This year of course we were limited in what we could do, so I have been getting donations for a children's story I wrote.”

Lovely feedback

Dawn paid for Gracie’s Birthday Book to be printed and has been displaying and selling them locally in West Yorkshire and on Gracie’s Forever Fund page for a minimum donation of £10.

“The book has had lovely feedback and raised over £3,500 so far,” Dawn added.

Dawn’s daughter and Gracie’s mother Kelsey Kerr added: “We’ve had some lovely comments on how it helps explain heaven and angels to younger children, especially from my 4-year-old who used to get upset about her big sister being gone, but now asks to read the book most nights and is quite happy knowing her sister is in Angel Land.” 

Excited friends and family

Gracie was born on 15 February 2009, Kelsey added. “It was a perfect birth for a perfect little girl. We were discharged six hours later and came home to be greeted by very excited friends and family.

“On 17 February we decided to take her back to hospital for a check over, which is when she had her first convulsion. We rushed her to hospital but that evening had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go. 

“Gracie was just two days old when she died of meningitis. We've set up our Forever Fund to make sure something good comes from what we went through and are extremely grateful to anybody who will help us make sure her memory lives on.”

Megan Thompson, our Fundraising Manager, said, “We’re so grateful to Dawn and Kelsey for supporting us through this beautiful book, in memory of Gracie. It’s such an important book for young children and the illustrations are lovely. 

“Dawn and Kelsey have raised such an amazing amount and we really are so grateful to them and their family for all their support of our work.”