Emily, 9, dies peacefully

Emily Wooddin in Kaikoura in May this year.
Emily Wooddin in Kaikoura in May this year.

Emily Wooddin, the inspiration behind early childhood teacher Kylie Campion's local fundraising efforts, has died.

Emily passed away with her parents by her side, on Tuesday, October 30. She had turned nine in September.

Kylie befriended Emily and her family 2 years ago through Camp Quality, an annual week-long residential programme designed to provide fun for children between the ages of 5 and 16 living with cancer.

Kylie pledged to run a half marathon to fundraise while Emily was in remission, and true to her word, trained hard and completed the Kaikoura Whale Run in September.

While Kylie was training, and after the return of Emily's cancer earlier in the year, Kylie became all the more inspired, organising the Great Shave day which saw locals shave their heads for the cause. More than $12,000 was raised for Camp Quality and Chase After a Cure, a non-profit organisation set up to raise money and awareness for neuroblastoma, the rare form of cancer from which Emily suffered.

After that, and with Emily at the foreground of the community's thoughts, it was decided to offer the family a weekend away, to relax in Kaikoura and spend some quality time together.

With a fishing trip, whale watching, horse-riding, accommodation and food all donated by generous businesses, Emily had declared the trip, in May, the best the family had ever had together.

Emily leaves behind three younger siblings, Jack, Charlotte and Luke, mum Katherine and dad Gary.

A private funeral was held on Friday, and on Monday a well-attended service was held at the community centre in Rolleston.

Kaikoura Star