An annual riverside walk will be dedicated to a girl who lost her brave battle with leukaemia aged 21.
Hollie Robinson Marsh fought off the disease at the age of four only to be told it had returned again on her 21st birthday.
As a child being treated for leukaemia at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow, Hollie was one of the last children to see Princess Diana during her final royal engagement in the UK before the princess’ death in August 1997, and a photograph of the two of them together became the official photo for Diana’s Memorial Coin.
Family friend Kerry McCarthy, from Northolt, is dedicating her annual walk on July 26 to Hollie, with the event raising funds for Children with Cancer UK, a charity that was close to Hollie’s heart.
The eight-mile walk, which has taken place for the last 16 years, starts at Richmond Lock and takes the walkers - which include Hollie’s friends and family - through the picturesque Kew Gardens to Chiswick Bridge, where the team stop for lunch before the return leg of the challenge.
Ms McCarthy’s daughter was treated alongside Hollie at Northwick Hospital and the family were devastated to hear of her relapse and death.
She originally organised the walk to raise funds for Northwick Park Children’s Hospital, but it soon became an annual event and has raised thousands of pounds for various charities.
Ms McCarthy said: “My daughter, Hayley, and Hollie became friends through their time spent together at hospital and remained in contact ever since.
“When Princess Diana visited the hospital on her last official engagement before her death, Hayley and Hollie were both chosen to meet her.
“Hollie was a very special girl and she’ll be in our thoughts when we complete the walk this year.”
She said Hollie was “full of life” and that her family will “never be the same again”.
She said she wanted to do something to show they were still thinking of her and so she didn’t feel as helpless.
Ms McCarthy added: “At a time like that you always wish there was something you can do. There usually isn’t but raising money for a charity she was raising money for is one way.
“When Hollie was really ill she was still trying to help Children with Cancer UK. If she can do that while having chemotherapy we thought the least we could do is raise money.”
To donate on the JustGiving page, visit: http://alturl.com/st4i8.