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‘She would be proud’ - best friend’s emotional journey after death of ‘angel’ Hope, 22

Hope Denning, who has died aged 22, was described by her mother Lorna as

Hope Denning, who has died aged 22, was described by her mother Lorna as "one of the kindest, sweetest people you could ever meet”. Picture: COURTESY OF DENNING FAMILY

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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 took on the One Million Step Challenge in memory of her friend Hope Denning, who died earlier this year after suffering with Type 1 diabetes. Picture: JADE HURNJade Hurn took on the One Million Step Challenge in memory of her friend Hope Denning, who died earlier this year after suffering with Type 1 diabetes. Picture: JADE HURN

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.

MORE: ‘She has gone to be an angel now’ - mum’s heartbreak at tragic death of Hope, 22

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.

Jade Hurn with her boyfriend Lee Jaggard on her One Million Step Challenge in memory of Hope Denning. Picture: JADE HURNJade Hurn with her boyfriend Lee Jaggard on her One Million Step Challenge in memory of Hope Denning. Picture: JADE HURN

“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.

Jade Hurn did her One Million Step Challenge in memory of friend Hope Denning. Pictured left to right are Jade Hurn, Lee Jaggard, Dom Clarke, Nannette Youssef, Will Permain, Andy Moore, Alice Munns and Georgia Leader-White. Picture: JADE HURNJade Hurn did her One Million Step Challenge in memory of friend Hope Denning. Pictured left to right are Jade Hurn, Lee Jaggard, Dom Clarke, Nannette Youssef, Will Permain, Andy Moore, Alice Munns and Georgia Leader-White. Picture: JADE HURN

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.”

Jasmine Largent, right, joins Jade Hurn for her One Million Step Challenge in memory of Hope Denning. Picture: JADE HURNJasmine Largent, right, joins Jade Hurn for her One Million Step Challenge in memory of Hope Denning. Picture: JADE HURN

“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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