Ipswich: Family’s campaign in memory of tragic Jenny

IPSWICH: A grieving mum is today on a crusade to raise awareness of leukaemia after her 17-year-old daughter died from the illness just a WEEK after diagnosis.

In the space of only seven days, the shock of the medics’ findings had turned to devastation as Jenny Lauren Stevens succumbed to the condition.

Mum Suzanne, who has launched a fundraising campaign in the teenager’s honour, today told of her family’s heartache – and explained why she is so determined to spread the word on the prevalence of leukaemia in teenagers.

“There wasn’t even an inkling that she had anything quite as serious as leukaemia,” said Suzanne, of Jupiter Road, Ipswich.

“She had been ill for a number of months with sore throats and cold-like symptoms – the doctors just thought it was either hay fever or a cold.

“It wasn’t until they tested her blood that it was found to be leukaemia – acute myeloid leukaemia.

“It was tragic and it was a complete shock, but she would never have been able to fight it – she never stood a chance because it was so developed and she was very ill.

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“The leukaemia was too developed and aggressive.”

After her diagnosis, Jenny was admitted to Ipswich Hospital where she was given a routine anaesthetic before beginning chemotherapy.

But her body struggled to fight the condition and she was soon after taken to the intensive care ward.

Despite the best efforts of doctors, Jenny died on September 12, 2007.

Mum Suzanne heaped praise on the medical staff who cared for her.

“Even though it was all very sudden and she wasn’t in a great way, the doctors and nurses were there with her every step of the way. They were brilliant.”

The former-Northgate High School student had her whole life ahead of her. She had completed the first year of a health and social care course and had ambitions to set up her own business.

“Something that makes me happy is to know that her years were filled with happiness,” said Suzanne.

“She was loved by a lot of people and that means the world to me.

“Ever since she was a young child she was always very spirited and such a happy and bubbly person. She was amazing.

“She was determined and she would always stand up for what she believed in – that is why I believe it is important for me to help spread the message and raise the awareness of this horrible disease.

“She was vibrant and she was beautiful, the whole family misses her massively.”

n Are you affected by Leukaemia? Tell us your story – write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk