Y12 student Caitlin Ronan who studied A-levels in Business, Maths and Accounting at JM Sixth Form suffered from a progressive neurological disease called CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) and sadly passed away on 17 November 2016. Caitlin’s absolute determination to get the most out of her dreadfully short and sometimes very difficult life can be evidenced by the many charitable causes she was involved in and the family continue in her name.
‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ is a One Act Play Caitlin wrote during her drama lessons with Pippa Henry and completed it in August 2016. The first performance was put on by Pippa Henry and Wellington Heath Amateur Dramatics Society junior members to a packed audience on 24 March 2017 at Wellington Heath Village Hall. As well as staging the play, it was also a musical celebration of Caitlin’s life with performances from her friends and the John Masefield High School Chamber Choir. Her mother, Louise said “Caitlin would have wanted her play to be staged and would have wanted everyone to have heard her and her friends performing. Every step of the way I heard Caitlin bossing me about and telling me what to do but hopefully she would have been proud of the evening we arranged. We put on the show particularly to say a huge thankyou to all of Caitlin’s carers/teachers and medical professionals and also to show them Caitlin’s dramatic and musical talents which they had heard so much about.”
There will be a second performance on Thursday 4 May at John Masefield High School starting at 7pm. Tickets can be booked via this link http://www.positickets.com/eventdetails.php?EventID=2488#.WNJgn7FFC1u £5 for Adults and £3 for students/children with all profits made going to ‘Caitlin’s Stars’. Caitlin felt very passionately about disabled actors being able to perform alongside able-bodied actors on stage and ‘The Graeae Theatre Company based in London perform productions worldwide but also gives students the same professional training that able-bodied students would receive at other drama schools. Caitlin’s mother, Louise said “Kevin Walsh and Jodi Bickerton from Graeae kindly came to the first performance on 24 March to support the event and explained more about their amazing work. They were delighted with the whole evening and couldn’t believe the acting and musical talent in Ledbury”. To-date Caitlin’s Stars has raised over £6,400.
Fixers are young people using their past to fix the future. They are motivated by personal experience to make positive change for themselves and those around them. Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV. Caitlin made a film in September 2016 about children who receive regular hospital care who can be very anxious about the transition of their care from child to adult. The film was launched on 20 March 2017 at The County Hospital in Hereford to an audience of NHS professionals and special guests, including Caitlin’s family.
‘Caitlin and Misty – A Tale of Comfort and Friendship’ – One of Caitlin’s carers Caroline Green wrote and illustrated a book which is gorgeous and copies are available to buy from Louise Ronan (and can be signed and dedicated to you personally by Caroline). The cost is £6 and all profits (after covering the printing costs) will be given to the Graeae Theatre Company. A sample of the book can be seen in Reception at JMHS.
Eyegaze – Please click on the link below to see the second of three videos made by Caitlin with Smartbox (the company who provided the Eyegaze System). Louise said, “Caitlin had so much fun making these videos and loved being in front of the camera and seeing the whole process of how such videos were made. She had seen all three videos before she passed away and I know she would have loved them to be released”. https://thinksmartbox.com/news/caitlins-fundraising-story/
Caitlin’s family would like thank everyone for their continued support and they really hope to see many of our friends at John Masefield High School on the 4 May.