Tributes continue to pour in for courageous Lowestoft teenager Rory Davies
TRIBUTES were paid this week to Lowestoft teenager Rory Davies who died at the weekend after a courageous fight against cancer.
His parents Andy and Lisa admitted they had been 'overwhelmed' by the messages of love and support shown to their 'special son'.
Rory, who was 15, finally gave up his battle against brain and spinal cancer on Saturday night, having been diagnosed more than a year ago.
Over the past 12 months, the Benjamin Britten High School pupil had become an inspiration to his family, friends and many other people in the town through the way in which he bravely faced up to his illness.
Thanking everyone for their kind words this week, Mr and Mrs Davies told The Journal: 'We have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown to Rory. As his parents we have always known how special he was, and from the messages we have received it is clear to see that he was also very special to so many others.
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'He was a son to be proud of, and we have been left with treasured memories that will stay with us forever.
'Although his life was short, he lived it to the full, never doing anything by halves or without passion.'
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They added: 'We miss his smile and his laughter but we take comfort from the love he has left us.'
Rory, who loved football, music and earned a black belt in the martial art Kuk Sool Won, was diagnosed with cancer in February 2010 but, after months of treatment and chemotherapy, he got the best Christmas gift possible last December when a scan showed the disease was 'inactive'.
Only weeks after celebrating that news, Rory and his family were dealt a body-blow last month when a further scan showed the cancer had returned and there was no other treatment available.
Since the weekend, hundreds of poignant messages in tribute to Rory have been left on the social networking site Facebook, and groups such as: 'The Rory Davies appreciation page! Lowestoft's Hero we love you' have also been set-up, attracting thousands of members to show their admiration for him.
As previously reported in The Journal, Mr Davies has been planning to tackle the gruelling Three Peaks challenge in June to raise a minimum �5,000 towards a new cancer unit for teenagers at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where Rory was treated. Last week, he received a cheque for �2,393 from The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes' Lowestoft and District Provincial Grand Lodge, boosting his total, which currently stands at more than �4,700.
A fortnight ago Benjamin Britten High School held two special sell-out fund-raising gigs as more cash was raised for this worthy cause as wristbands specially made in Rory's honour – depicting his name, the colours of his favourite football team West Ham United and - We Will Be Victorious - a line from a song of his favourite band Muse.
On Wednesday, a charity football match for Rory took place at Walmer Road – the home of Kirkley and Pakefield FC – between Benjamin Britten pupils from year 10 and year 11, with more than �2,000 raised.
'We would like to thank all our family and friends for their support, Benjamin Britten and the Foxborough Middle schools for their continued support of Jack and Max and Rory's group of close friends who have shown amazing maturity and compassion throughout the last 14 months,' Mr and Mrs Davies said.
'Thank you to all the players, officials and supporters for attending the game.'
At Rory's request, the couple said they had planned a memorial celebration of his life, followed by a private cremation on March 30.
'Rory has requested bright colours and smiles on this day, an indication of the strength and dignity he showed around planning his funeral,' they added.
Meanwhile, two memorial areas for flowers and tributes have this week been set up at Benjamin Britten High, and students have also been able to leave messages to their friend on Rory's grafitti wall.
To sponsor Mr Davies and boost Rory's fund, log onto www.teenagecancertrust.org/get-involved/as-a-fundraiser/fundraisers/clays-3-peak-challenge-team/
JUST SOME OF THE TRIBUTES SENT TO THE JOURNAL THIS WEEK
I have been following Rory's progress via The Journal and also have a brother at Benjamin Britten High School who has been telling us about what has been going on. My wife and I where sad to hear over the weekend that he has lost his battle with cancer and as a parents please pass on our thoughts to his parents.
I go to Rory's school and I'm really sorry to hear about the families loss. I can't even begin to imagine what they're going through, everyone must feel so proud of Rory - he was an amazing person and adored by a lot of people. His brave inspiration has really changed the way I feel about life.
I just thought I would give my love to you all at this hard time - we will all Be Victorious - got my wristband and never taking it off.
Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Rory's death, and although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer.
With sincere sympathy, Paul, Coral and family x
There have been lots of negative responses to social networking sites. I have been on Facebook and seen the reaction to the recent, tragic death of Rory Davies and have seen Facebook in a completely different light. It is uniting the young people of Lowestoft in their grief in an overwhelming and positive way. It has been heartbreaking following Rory's story but the young people are pulling together, whether they knew him or not, to keep his memory alive and to raise funds for other sufferers. Brightest star, hero, soldier, are all words used to describe an exceptionally brave boy and I think that it must be a comfort to his family and closest friends that people are expresssing their grief on this site...
Rory Davies was the most amazing, strongest and bravest boy I've ever met. The memories I have with him are irreplaceable! He always had the biggest smile on his face and he didn't go a day without making someone laugh with his jokes and his dirty mind! He was so kind and caring to everyone! Rory didn't deserve any of this, and he will be truly be missed by everyone! He has touched so many peoples' hearts and he will remain in mine forever! I will never ever forget Rory, or the memories we have had! I will always remember him as one of my best friends, my kind, caring, dirty minded, funny best friend.
Rest in peace Rory, your really are an inspiration and hero to everyone! You will always be the brightest star in the sky! <3
Paige Jackson and family xxx
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