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Memorial bench unveiling in Dover for teenager Kelly Turner who died of rare cancer in 2017


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A bench will be dedicated to the memory of Kelly Turner on the fourth anniversary of her death.

Her parents Martin and Linda Turner, of Dover, will carry out the ceremony at 2pm on Saturday, November 6.

Kelly Turner in 2016. Picture: Tony Flashman
Kelly Turner in 2016. Picture: Tony Flashman

They continue to fundraise to help other victims of the rare cancer that claimed her life, when she was 17, in 2017.

Mr Turner told KentOnline: "We are still really struggling with losing her but we are doing what Kelly would have wanted, getting on with our lives."

The Kelly Turner Memorial Bench is at the new Clocktower Square at the Marina Curve, Dover Western Docks and the ceremony is a public event.

Kelly, who attended St Edmund's RC School in Dover, was in October, 2015, aged 15, diagnosed with extremely rare desmoplastic small round cell tumours and was given two years to live.

The condition has affected just 200 people since it was first discovered in 1989.

Kelly Turner's parents Linda and Martin Turner at the graveside on what would have been her 18th birthday.
Kelly Turner's parents Linda and Martin Turner at the graveside on what would have been her 18th birthday.

To try to save her life it was found she needed £1 million for specialist treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

When KentOnline broke the story in June 2016 and an appeal was launched, Dover people jumped to it. They poured money into collection buckets and tins and held fundraising events for her almost every week over the next year.

As much as £600,000 was raised in her lifetime, which after her death went to the Institute of Cancer Research to help others with her condition.

During 2016/17 businesses kept collecting and fundraising events were held included concerts, residents' association fun days, leg waxings, head shaves, mass scooter rides, plus a charity record called Proud by local musicians.

They were done under the slogan Doing It for Kelly and one man, John Ashman, slept rough for seven nights in Dover town centre, during one of the coldest times of that winter.

Kelly getting her exam results, pictured with parents Martin and Linda, August 2017. Picture: St Edmund's RC School, Dover
Kelly getting her exam results, pictured with parents Martin and Linda, August 2017. Picture: St Edmund's RC School, Dover

Nobody in Dover could remember any mass rallying of support in the town of that scale for one person before.

Kelly fell a year behind in her schooling because of her illness but passed all 10 of the GCSE subjects she took in summer 2017.

However her condition took a turn for the worse a couple of months later and she died at the specialist Royal Marsden Hospital in London on November 6, 2017.

Mr Turner stressed that there was no chemotherapy for DSRCT and research was needed to find it t save others with the condition.

The Kelly Turner Foundation continues for that and the total figure raised now stands at £640,000.

Donations can be made through the page by clicking here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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