Herts & Essex High School's tribute to tragic Addie Brady on her 17th birthday
Students at Herts and Essex High School paid a poignant tribute to former pupil Addie Brady on Tuesday (Oct 23) on what should have been her 17th birthday.
The teenager died in February aged just 16 after a second battle with cancer.
She was first diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in her leg in 2011 and after surgery and chemotherapy, her mum Michelle, dad Tara and sister Skylar were hopeful the disease was gone.
However, in 2016 Addie was rushed into hospital following a seizure and tests later revealed she had a high-grade inoperable brain tumour. Furthermore, it was a primary cancer – unrelated to the first – and genetic testing revealed Addie had Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), usually an inherited familial predisposition to the disease.
On Tuesday, 17 of Addie’s friends released one balloon each in her memory from the Warwick Road secondary’s courtyard, watched by 120 of her classmates.
Then a plaque was unveiled, naming the school’s drama studio in her honour.
Mum Michelle said: “We are incredibly touched by the school’s decision to name the drama studio The Addie Brady Studio and opening it on her birthday feels particularly special. Addie would have loved it.
“After Addie was first diagnosed with bone cancer, she was told she would be unable to play contact sports so decided to try drama and musical theatre. She joined Phoenix Theatre School at the Rhodes theatre and then decided to take it as a GCSE at school.
“Addie was quite a personality in the school. I love that students will continue to come to the school year after year and hopefully will ask ‘Who is Addie Brady?’ and she will be remembered.”
The family have set up a foundation to boost research into high-grade brain tumours and better treatments for brain cancer, working with the Brain Tumour Charity.
They are also working with the George Pantziarka TP53 Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting families with LFS, to implement a national surveillance and screening programme.