by JENNY MONROE
A HILLSBOROUGH family are planning a charity fundraising event in memory of their daughter who passed away suddenly at Christmas just over a year ago.
Ronnie and Helen Coulter's daughter Caroline Niblock (25), who was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of nine months, died in her sleep on Christmas Day 2009.
She and husband Alan had married only five months before. And while at the time of her unexplained death Caroline had not suffered a seizure in more than a year, the fundraiser is in aid of Epilepsy Action.
The Coulters, who live on the Ballyknock Road, are hoping to stage a fundraising Ladies' Tractor Road Run and Barbecue later this year.
"We wanted to do something in memory of Caroline and something to raise public awareness of epilepsy," said Helen.
Helping the Coulters plan and prepare for the event, expected to take place on Friday, June 3, is Dromore woman Ruth Whethers, whose sister Esther has suffered from epilepsy since she was just one year-old.
Ruth and the Coulters share the view that while a high percentage of people live with epilepsy, too few people know much about it.
Christmas past was tough on Caroline's family - a year before she and her new husband, committed Christians, had been preparing to spend their first Christmas together in the Rockcorry community of County Monaghan - where Alan's family live and where Caroline had secured a job working with chiIdren.
The happy couple had been preparing for a second 'Christmas' when Caroline's parents were due to visit to celebrate Ronnie's birthday.
Instead the families gathered to say goodbye to a much loved daughter, wife and treasured sister of James and William.
In planning an event to commemorate Caroline's life, the Coulters are
revisiting an earlier fundraiser they held in 2008 to raise money for the
fight against Ovarian Cancer. Now, as then they plan to stage the ladies
tractor run from their home, though they hope even more tractors will take
In the meantime a committee has been set up to oversee the organisation and the search for support and sponsorship is on.
"We're just getting everything in place," said Helen, who contacted Epilepsy Action to make sure any funds raised could be spent locally. "I spoke to Marina Clarke of Epilepsy Action and I found out that the organisation goes around and speaks to children in schools which I think is a very good thing in terms of raising awareness about the condition and what to do when someone suffers a seizure."
Anyone who wants to help sponsor the event, make a donation for the ballot to run in conjunction with the tractor run and barbecue or contribute in any way, is asked get in touch with Helen on 92 699295 or 079 0005 3805 or James Coulter on 079 0005 3806. Likewise, anyone who wants to take part in the tractor run is asked to get in touch with Mr. Coulter
* The Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050 available Monday-Friday, 9am - 4.30pm (4pm on Fridays).