Youngsters' tribute to tragic friend

GRIEVING young friends of a 12-year-old boy who died after losing a decade-long battle against cancer are today raising money in memory of their school pal.

GRIEVING young friends of a 12-year-old boy who died after losing a decade-long battle against cancer are today raising money in memory of their school pal.

Brave Jack Wilkinson, of Fairfield Avenue, Felixstowe, was first diagnosed with a rare form of the disease when he was just two and spent much of his life in and out of hospital.

Despite his illness, Jack lived life to the full - and had lots of friends, who have been coming to terms with his death over the past two months by throwing themselves into a special project.

A group of seven of his friends at Deben High have been raising money for two charities - East Anglian Children's Hospices and Wish Upon a Star - and holding a series of assemblies at the school to celebrate Jack's life.


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So far they have raised £200 and they are hoping to raise hundreds more over the next month.

Headteacher Terry Ring said Jack had only been a pupil of Deben in Garrison Lane for a short while, but he had many friends among the pupils who knew him at primary school.

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“They decided they wanted to raise some money for charity in memory of Jack and the school has been fully supportive,” he said.

“A group of his friends put together a special assembly to celebrate his life and have taken the assembly for year seven all the way through to sixth form.

“They talked about his life, the things he did, his sense of humour, how he was loved by everyone who knew him and what a great inspiration he was to them - and they showed a computer power-point presentation they have made featuring pictures of him, showing how he made the most of his life right up to his death.

“The assembly was incredibly moving - you could have heard a pin drop. It was very beautifully done and with real feeling.

“They did all the work themselves and it was their own idea. I am very proud of them indeed.”

Jack's parents Caz and Karl attended one of the assemblies and were very moved by the tributes.

The family moved to Felixstowe from Wiltshire in 1997 and for the next eight years everything seemed fine as Jack's disease went into remission.

But in April 2005 the family discovered the rare form of bladder cancer had returned. Four months ago the family were told he had only a short time to live.

What do you think of the students' fundraising? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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