An 18-year-old girl who died just weeks ago is being remembered by her friends taking part in Lynn’s Grand East Anglian Run on Sunday.
Jessika-Mae Prior, known as JMP to friends, died on March 18 and a group of students at Springwood High, which she attended, will be lining up in her honour and raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care.
Her mother, Sharon Cleaver, said Jessika-Mae was a bright, cheerful girl who enjoyed life to the full.
“She was really popular and loved sport. Just after she died I went to my first banger race in Lynn; she loved to watch it. All the cars had JMP painted on them, I couldn’t believe it and was really touched,” said Miss Cleaver, of North Lynn.
Jessika-Mae was diagnosed with bone cancer after she suffered knee problems. She was treated
at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, but died just two months after her 18th birthday.
Miss Cleaver said both she and Jessika-Mae’s father Mark Prior, were moved when donations at their daughter’s funeral raised £879 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
“She had Ewing’s sarcoma, which I had never heard of before. It’s a type of bone cancer and affects young people.
“We really want to raise awareness of this condition because there’s not much information out there. We were told it was a sports injury for a long time before she was diagnosed. Although it is quite rare, we met several families going through it at the same time as us,” said Miss Cleaver.
Luke Feaviour, head of Jessika-Mae’s house at Springwood High, paid tribute to her in the school newsletter.
“It was her personality and enthusiasm which shone the most,” he said.
Her sporting ability made her a role model to younger year groups and she still holds the girl’s 100m record at 12.785.
Year head Tracey Blandford also paid tribute to the student.
“Her involvement within PE and sport was always determined and extensive. She showed a prowess with football, playing not only for the school team, but also local clubs.”
“Jess lost her fight to the evil disease on March 18 at the age of 18 – she fought all the way smiling. She will be missed by many students and teachers alike.”
Miss Cleaver said more groups of friends would be taking part in the Race for Life at Houghton Hall being held on July 23.
“I think there are three groups all running for Jess to raise money in her memory. It’s lovely to think she had such great friends,” said Miss Cleaver.
For more information on Ewing’s Sarcoma see: www.ewingssarcoma.org.uk