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By Chris Willmott Wednesday 24 October 2012 Updated: 30/10 10:04
AN AMAZING, spirited, selfless, courageous, beautiful and determined young lady, who was loved by all who knew her - the words used to describe young Aoife O’Connor who has lost her brave battle with a brain tumour.
The 14-year-old passed away in the arms of her parents Mark and Claire on October 14 - just 11 months after being diagnosed with her tumour.
Family and friends, including her sisters Niamh and Ciara, laid Aoife to rest on Tuesday (October 23) with a funeral at Olton Friary, committal at Widney Manor Crematorium and celebration of her life at a local hotel.
Loved ones also gathered near her Dickens Heath home on Sunday afternoon to release balloons and Chinese lanterns in her memory (pictured).
Aoife began radiotherapy as soon as she was diagnosed with her brain tumour - and a sign of how she was going to tackle the tough times ahead of her came when she returned to school just five days after her treatment.
In the following 11 months she never gave up hope of a cure for the 'evil disease', always maintained a positive spirit, continued her sports, even achieving her netball coashing certificate and raised lots of money for charity.
"Everyone that knew Aoife immediately warmed to her and loved her infectious personality," said her heartbroken family.
"Not only was she beautiful on the outside but also on the inside too.
"Her friends and sisters recall her wicked sense of humour, kind, mothering nature and endless enthusiasm for parties."
A Facebook page - Rest In Peace Aoife O'Connor - has been set up in Aoife's memory.
It is being followed by 3,409 people and is full of tributes from her nearest and dearest.
"We would like to thank all of those who have loved Aoife and who have supported her recently, especially the hospital staff, the Solihull district nurses and the Jacey Practice in Dickens Heath, St Peter’s School staff and pupils, Elmdon Netball Club and the community of Dickens Heath, her friends, family – and especially her two beloved sisters," said mum and dad Mark and Claire.
They also added a final tribute to their daughter: "Rest in peace, Aoife. Your spirit lives on through all of the lives you touched and all of the wonderful things you achieved in your short but amazingly compact short life here with us.
"A true inspiration.
“It is only in the darkness we can see the brightest stars”
The family are raising funds for Brain Tumour UK - Aoife's chosen charity - towards their vital work to provide breakthrough support, information and research on the path to a cure for brain tumours.
To make a donation visit their Just Giving page - http://www.justgiving.com/aoife-oconnor.
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