Poignant photo is Facebook hit

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A PICTURE of a mum showing her love for her terminally ill baby has gone viral on Facebook to provide a major boost for a fundraising campaign.

Newport Pagnell couple Katie Elmer and Ben Mainwaring lost their tiny daughter Emily when she was just 26 days old after she was born with Trisomy 18, a rare genetic syndrome causes fatal organ defects.

Health officials provided visiting nurses and medical care so Emily could be taken home to spend her short life in peace, surrounded by her family.

Emily died the day after Mother’s Day last year and since then Katie, 26, has devoted her time to raising money to help other parents and children in the same situation.

She started a Facebook page called Emily’s Star to publicise her charity events.

At the weekend a picture she posted of her kissing little Emily went viral, attracting 55,000 ‘likes’ all over the globe.

The surge of support comes as Katie and Ben’s friend are planning the biggest Emily’s Star fundraiser ever – in the form of a Milton Keynes Masked Ball.

Already the Citizen has promised to officially back the Emily’s Star Ball and is urging other companies to pledge sponsorship.

Organiser Dylan Jeavons has already staged four such balls to help children’s charities, and each one has been a huge success.

This, he says, is largely due to the event’s fresh format, which attracts a younger audience.

It will have all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood red carpet affair but instead of dinner and “stuffy” speeches, the evening will be packed with bands, comedians, magicians, karoaoke, photographers and other live entertainment.

Everybody involved gives their services free, but £5,000 is needed to stage the evening.

Ticket prices are deliberately kept low to enable the whole city community to be involved.

Would-be sponsors can contacted Dylan on MK 200912 or email www.dylandesign.co.uk.