‘She would be proud’ - best friend’s emotional journey after death of ‘angel’ Hope, 22
An “amazing” 22-year-old who suddenly died after health complications from Type 1 diabetes would be proud to see how people rallied round to raise money in her memory, her best friend has said.
Jade Hurn was left heartbroken at the unexpected loss of Hope May Denning, from Bury St Edmunds, on May 25 this year, shortly before Hope’s 23rd birthday.
Mother Lorna Denning, 46, described her daughter “one of the kindest, sweetest people you could ever meet” who, despite the youngster’s own challenges with diabetes and mental health, never turned down opportunities to help others.
Jade’s immediate response was to take on Diabetes UK’s One Million Steps challenge to raise awareness of the condition which took her friend’s life, as well as money to provide research into the illness.
“We’re trying to focus on her life and stop another mum going through what Lorna has been through,” Jade said as she started the challenge in the summer.
However, the challenge very much became a team effort as well - as friends joined in stages of Jade’s walk to show solidarity with the cause, with roughly between 10,000 and 11,000 steps being completed a day.
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Jade, who is from Stowmarket and met Hope at a mental health support group, has raised a total of £850 and said doing the walk in Hope’s memory had dealing with her sadness at Hope’s death a little easier.
Asked what Hope would think of the fundraising, Jade said: “She’d hate the focus, but she would be proud looking down.
“She never wanted to be the centre of attention, but she deserves it.”
Shortly after Hope’s death, Jade said: “The illness that she lived with is largely misunderstood or unknown by many and is rarely talking about as much as it needs to be. It’s an illness you don’t get taught about.
“If we could save just one of those 500 that die prematurely a week, then we have continued Hope’s caring ethos.”
“It’s not fair that she never got a chance to do the things everyone should do like get married and buy a house, have children and own a car.
“This illness that she lived with is largely misunderstood or unknown by many and is rarely talked about as much as it needs to be.”
To donate to Jade’s One Million Step Challenge, visit her fundraising page.
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