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Kelly Turner artwork mural at St Edmund's RC School, Dover, on anniversary week of her death from cancer

A mural reproducing the artwork of Kelly Turner has been blessed just before the anniversary of her death.

The 17-year-old, of Dover, died from a rare cancer two years ago today and her parents attended the ceremony at her school yesterday.

Martin and Linda Turner at the blessing. Picture: Sam Lennon
Martin and Linda Turner at the blessing. Picture: Sam Lennon

Her father Martin told KentOnline: "I can't believe two years have gone by.

"It's incredibly sad. We miss her every second.

"But this piece of art is absolutely gorgeous, we thank everybody so much for it, it's wonderful."

Her mum Linda said: "I never thought we would cope with her passing but you learn to cope and remember the happy times that we had together.

"I brings a smile to your face. I know she wouldn't want us to be miserable."

The mural for Kelly
The mural for Kelly

The ceremony was at St Edmund's RC School in Dover, which Kelly attended until joining the sixth form at Astor College in autumn 2017.

The abstract mural in the playground, a reproduction of one of her art pieces, shows a lighthouse, the sea and gulls.

It was made by school student Becca Vickers.who never met Kelly but was inspired by her work.

She said: "This was originally inspired by a piece that Kelly made, it was originally a collage, that's why we've got different sections of colours.

"Just from looking at her pieces was really inspiring and this piece was very moving."

The artist Becca Vickers. Picture: Sam Lennon
The artist Becca Vickers. Picture: Sam Lennon

Becca is a sixth former at Dover Grammar School for Boys who previously attended Sir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich.

St Edmund's academy principal, Mike Wilson, said: "Kelly was a really exceptional artist all the way through her time here at St Edmund's but also in her own spare time.

"After her death I was privileged enough to see some of the artwork she produced both in her art lessons but also at home.

"This is one piece that really captured everything that she stood for in terms of brightness and the colour and what she brought to St Edmund's in terms of her brightness to our school.

"So we thought it was fitting tribute to her to memorialise her time at St Edmund's.

Kelly Turner, April 2017. Picture: Kelly Turner Foundation
Kelly Turner, April 2017. Picture: Kelly Turner Foundation

The ceremony, attended by Kelly's parents and St Edmund's sixth formers, was officiated by school chaplain Fr Stephen Bould who is also a Folkestone parish priest.

He told the audience: "We pray for Kelly's soul, which is something we will never cease to do.

"The lighthouse is a symbol of rescue and hope and it enables you to know where you are."

Mr Wilson said in his speech: "Kelly produced work that continues to bring joy to us to this day.

"We would want to be able to do something for the world that goes on beyond the time we are living.

Mike Wilson, academy principal at St Edmund's school. Picture: Sam Lennon
Mike Wilson, academy principal at St Edmund's school. Picture: Sam Lennon
Kelly, with her parents, holding her St Edmund's exam results in August 2017. Picture: St Edmund's RC School.
Kelly, with her parents, holding her St Edmund's exam results in August 2017. Picture: St Edmund's RC School.

"Kelly Turner in 20 years' time will still be inspirational."

Kelly had fallen a year behind in her studies because of her illness but by summer 2017 achieved 10 GCSE passes at St Edmund's including two A* to B grades.

Mr Wilson stressed to the sixth formers : "I hope this will be an inspiration to your studies, give everything you've got."

Kelly was diagnosed with an extremely rare teenage cancer called desmoplastic small round cell tumours (DSRCT) in October 2015.

Her last hope was to get specialist treatment in New York, which cost £1 million.

People in Dover and neighbouring towns rallied round by constantly holding events during a fundraising campaign in 2016/17.

Despite hundreds of thousands of pounds raised her condition worsened.

Fundraising in her name continues through the Kelly Turner Foundation to help other youngsters with her condition and the total today stood at £636,696.

Money is now going to the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, London.

To donate visit justgiving.com/kellyturnerfoundation2017

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