Friends gather at Herts and Essex High School in memory of Addie Brady on her 18th birthday
Friends gathered at Herts and Essex High School to mark what should have been their classmate Addie Brady's 18th birthday and helped to raise £700 for the brain tumour research charity set up in her name.
The commemoration on Wednesday (Oct 23) by Year 13 students was the latest in a series of fundraising events to honour the memory of the vivacious girl who dreamed of becoming a surgeon but died in February 2018, aged just 16. Many of them had been friends with Addie throughout her two battles with cancer.
She was a nine-year-old pupil at Stortford's All Saints Primary School when she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2011. After surgery and several months of chemotherapy, she recovered. But in 2016 she was rushed into hospital following a seizure – and tests revealed an inoperable brain tumour.
Her parents, mum Michelle and dad Tara, and elder sister Skylar, now a Loughborough University student, were shocked to discover it was a primary cancer unrelated to the first diagnosis.
Genetic testing revealed Addie had Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), usually an inherited familial predisposition to the disease.
Her family set up the Addie Brady Foundation to raise money to back research in both fields. A sponsored dog walk earlier in October generated £1,500.
Addie's friends at Herts and Essex boosted the appeal on her 18th birthday by selling cakes and yellow ribbons at the Warwick Road secondary. They were joined by former students for a birthday tea in the school dining area as a video of Addie played on a large screen.
Mum Michelle and Addie's close friend Amber Peck unveiled a plaque for the tree planted at the school in her memory. An inscription on it reads: "Our crazy best friend. Thank you for always giving us a reason to smile."
The tree was decorated with crocheted hexagons and with sunflowers crafted by Michelle.
The whole school wrote messages to and about Addie and her family on individual yellow cut-out hand prints which were then joined and displayed as large sunflowers.
A spokeswoman for the school said: "As with all these occasions, it was a poignant affair and the significance of Addie's peers now being in Year 13 was not lost on them."