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Dying girl's last wish granted as ashes to go around the world

THE dying wish of a young teenager will be fulfilled when Harley Davidson bikers carry her ashes all around the world.

Alex Hood was just 19 when she lost her fight with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a debilitating illness which left her skin paper-thin and caused it to break and blister at the slightest touch.

Before she died in July 2008, she told her dad Robin that she wished she could have travelled the world, after she fell in love with Japan during a short trip.

And now Robin, who is head of corporate fundraising at Debra Ireland, the support organisation for EB sufferers, is coordinating a round-the-world trip by charitable bikers over the next two years.

He told the Herald: "Alex was diagnosed with cancer on the morning of her 19th birthday and for months they tried to remove the tumour from her leg.

"I broke down crying. And she told me, 'Dad, I'm dying, not you. Don't cry. Smile every day for the rest of your life and fundraise until they find a cure'. She was diagnosed towards the end of May and she died in July."

Robin describes EB as a "cruel condition" which leaves its sufferers in constant pain.

"When a child sneezes, the inside of their nose comes out, or I've seen my daughter's pants stuck to her bottom because there wasn't enough bandages on."



fraternity

Up to 80 bike riders will carry Alex's ashes from Waterford, which is the birthplace of her grandmother, to Farmleigh House on October 23.

Then her ashes will travel to France, as Harley riders here join up with other rallies in the UK and onwards around the world.

Robin explained: "We'll try to get her ashes around the world through the Harley Davidson fraternity.

"As they go to rallies all around the world, and at different rallies, Alex's ashes will change hands."

Most of her ashes were scattered in a loch near where she lived in Scotland, and Robin keeps the remainder in a peppermint tin so that his daughter is always with him


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