FAMILY and friends of a much loved 22-year-old from Brimscombe are raising money in her memory, writes Katie Jarvis.
Jemima Friend, a former pupil at Minchinhampton Primary, Deer Park and Stroud High, died at home on February 3 after being diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago.
Now a fundraising campaign has been set up in her name to help other blood cancer sufferers.
Jemima was in her first year of university, studying history at Goldsmiths in London, when she fell ill.
“She was extraordinarily brave throughout the different treatments she faced,” her mum Julie said.
“Even when she knew she didn’t have long to live, Jemima was determined to make the most of the time she had left.”
From her early years at Minchinhampton Primary School, and then later at Cirencester Deer Park, Stroud High sixth form and beyond, Jemima made many friends throughout her life.
She was a popular member of Minchinhampton Pony Club, and played for Stroud Hockey Club.
While studying at sixth form, Jemima worked for Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and the Crown & Sceptre in Stroud, as well as Stroud Brewery, raising money for her gap-year travels.
“She then went inter-railing throughout Europe, and travelled around South East Asia and New Zealand with good friends,” her mum, Julie, said.
“She loved the outdoor life, and particularly enjoyed island-hopping, trekking, and bungee-jumping. She also valued the opportunity to explore the historical sites in Cambodia and Vietnam.
“But she loved the party atmosphere of the whole trip, too. Jemima was gregarious, fun loving and had so many friends.
“She fitted a great deal into her life.
“Just before Christmas, she was sewing hearts as decorations that she sold with a friend from a stall at Stroud Brewery craft fair.”
During the course of her illness, Jemima was looked after by the haematology team and critical care at Cheltenham General, the Edward Jenner unit in Gloucestershire Royal, and Bristol Haematology and Oncology Hospital. She also received a stem cell transplant, assisted by UK charity Anthony Nolan.
“The level of care Jemima received was outstanding,” said Julie.
“We are so grateful. Even during these times of Covid, none of that treatment was compromised.
“However, we know that charities are struggling in the current climate. Jemima was aware we would help celebrate her life by raising a sum of money towards another patient being able to undergo a stem cell transplant.”
Jemima’s funeral will take place on Friday (February 19), 11am, at Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton, by invitation only due to Covid restrictions.
A YouTube link will be posted on the Instagram account mol_davies.
Anyone who wishes can pay their respects as the hearse makes its way through Minchinhampton, scheduled to travel down Windmill Road at 10.40am.
The first fundraising event – Jemima’s Celebration of Life Quiz – will take place on Saturday, September 18 at Stroud Brewery: September 27 would have been Jemima’s 23rd birthday.
The brewery is generously hosting the event for free, and including a pint for each ticket purchased.
Celebrant Phil James from Cirencester will be quiz-master.
More details from justgiving.com/fundraising/jemimaslifeline