Laughter, tears and song at funeral of Bishop's Stortford schoolgirl Addie Brady
The family and friends of Herts and Essex High School girl Addie Brady are determined that her death should bring new hope to others facing cancer.
The 16-year-old GCSE student died on February 1 after suffering an inoperable and aggressive brain tumour.
She had battled back to health after suffering a rare form of bone cancer, called spindle cell sarcoma, in her tibia when she was a nine-year-old attending All Saints CE Primary School in Stortford.
Mum Michelle, dad Tara and sister Skylar, 18, an A-level student at the Bishop’s Stortford High School, have had to come to terms with the devastating news that both were primary cancers and unconnected.
Genetic testing has shown that Addie had Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), an inherited familial predisposition to the disease.
Before her death, with her usual enthusiasm, she flew to the USA to attend a workshop in Utah about the condition. It is hoped that Addie had what is known as a de novo mutation – an alteration in a gene that is present for the first time in one family member.
The family want to honour their “brave and beautiful” Addie by setting up a fund in her name to boost research and better treatment for childhood brain cancer.
Addie’s funeral took place beneath grey skies and drizzle at Parndon Wood Crematorium in Harlow on Monday (Feb 19).
The service featured addresses by her parents and sister, her form tutor Ian Corner and good friends Lara and Amber, which were moving and amusing in equal measure.
There was a performance of Over The Rainbow, sung by Amber and another friend, Scarlett, accompanied by Herts & Essex High School music teacher Thomas Marlow. The service also featured The Show by Lenka and Electricity by Elton John from the stage musical Billy Elliot.
Celebrating the life of the extraordinary teenager, it was an upbeat and uplifting affair devoid of sombreness, and there were as many ripples of laughter as there were tears of sadness among the hundreds of mourners, who included more than 20 of Addie’s fellow pupils.
At the school, more than £1,700 has been collected for Keech Hospice Care, which supported Addie and her family in her final weeks.
Flowers have been laid around a tree in the school’s courtyard and youngsters have signed a book of condolence. Today (Fri, Feb 23), all at the secondary school will be joined by Addie’s family to celebrate her life.
Michelle told the Independent: “Addie just wanted to be a normal girl, just like her friends.”
Mourners have donated more than £7,000 to the Brain Tumour Charity to honour her. To donate, see www.drobinson.co.uk