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Family and friends of a teenager who died of a rare cancer have thrown a fundraising party on what would have been their loved one’s 30th birthday.

Twelve years ago Stephanie Vescio, from Ellington, died aged just 17 of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer found in the bone or soft tissue of the femur, humerus, ribs or collar bone.

Described as a typical teenager who loved listening to Westlife, eating pizza and watching scary films, those who knew Stephanie say that in her last few months she became a very brave, strong and inspiring young woman.

Her mother, Glenda, said: “Stephanie started to complain about an intermittent pain in her hip. Because she was only 15 at the time, we thought it might be growing pains or even pain from playing netball at school. The complaints started to get more frequent and that’s when we decided to get it checked out.

“When we found out Stephanie had cancer, we were devastated; she had a year of remission after two treatments of chemo and radiotherapy, before the cancer re-occurred in her lungs and then her brain, until Stephanie couldn’t hang on any longer. She was so brave and we all miss her every day.”

It was also hoped that the event would help to raise awareness of the rare cancer which Stephanie suffered from.

Glenda added: “We would like to thank Stephanie’s school friends, Rachel, Rachael, Claire and Kate who continue to put in lots of hard work raising money for charities in Stephanie’s memory. We would also like to say a big thank you to all the businesses that provided raffle prizes for the evening along with The Replicants and the DJ who provided the entertainment.

“The Cocktails for a Cure night was such a success filled with over 200 friends, family and supporters who all managed to raise a fantastic amount of money. It is a comfort to us to know that Stephanie is always remembered.”

Janet Price, fundraiser for North of England Children’s Cancer Research said: “We really appreciate all of the hard work that went into creating the Cocktails for a Cure event in Stephanie’s memory. Every penny is integral in helping improve the lives of children and young people – treatment is much more advanced than it was 20 years ago and we need to keep going in this direction to hopefully find a cure once and for all.”

To celebrate what would have been Stephanie’s 30th birthday last month, her family and friends gathered at Riverside Lodge in Morpeth for a charity night to raise money for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research fund (NECCR). The ‘Cocktails for a Cure’ event raised almost £3,300 for the charity, which works to research cancer treatments and search for a cure to help more children recover from the devastating disease.

If you are interested in raising money for North of England Children’s Cancer Research, please visit the Get Involved section of this website.

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