Tributes to “popular” teen with rare cancer

Ashleigh-Marie Parks, 17, who died after battling a rare form of cancer.

Ashleigh-Marie Parks, 17, who died after battling a rare form of cancer.

0
Have your say

tributes have been paid to a brave teen who raised thousands for charity before losing her cancer battle.

Ashleigh-Marie Parks, 17, of Henley Road, Intake, died in Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice on Friday surrounded by her family.

Ashleigh-Marie Parks (17) with her family. Back: Sister Jessica Jackson (nine) and bother Marcus Cooper (13). Front Stepdad Damian Parks and mum Cheryl Watson. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0306MB

Ashleigh-Marie Parks (17) with her family. Back: Sister Jessica Jackson (nine) and bother Marcus Cooper (13). Front Stepdad Damian Parks and mum Cheryl Watson. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0306MB

The teen, who raised more than £1,000 for the Parents’ Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia and CLIC Sargent, was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour in her brain and three in her spine in April 2011.

Despite taking a turn for the worst determined Ashleigh still continued her charity work right until the end taking part in the Santa Dash just last month for the Aurora Centre despite being wheelchair bound.

Mum Cheryl Watson said: “Ashleigh was so brave. When we found out about the cancer we were all a wreck but Ashleigh said ‘let’s just get on with it’.She took it in her stride.

“She was so popular, everyone knew her, she was so bright and selfless. She loved going shopping but would always spend all her money on buying things for her little sister.”

Ashleigh was taken into Bluebell Wood on Christmas Eve.

Cheryl added: “I want to thank the staff at Bluebell Wood they helped to make Christmas so magical for us as a family.”

Speaking to the Free Press at the time of her fancy dress fundraiser last year Ashleigh said: “I’m hoping to be able to raise money to support charities that helped me and to help other people going through the same as me.”

The teenager, who was studying at Danum Academy for her GCSEs before being diagnosed, had aspirations of owning her own child care business.

A tribute from Danum Academy said: “Ashleigh was a tenacious and courageous young lady who showed great strength and courage in living with and dealing with her battle against cancer. This sad news is heart-breaking for the school as we lose such a popular student at a young age.”

More than 2,150 people took to Facebook to post tributes to Ashleigh and a memorial event is planned for tomorrow at 7pm at Town Fields. The funeral will take place at St Paul’s Church, Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, at 11am on Wednesday followed by a burial at Rose Hill.