The mother of a teenager, who died after a brave battle with leukaemia, has paid heartfelt thanks to her daughter’s fellow schoolgirls who staged a memorial service for her.
Monique Bryan, 13, was a pupil at Walderslade Girls School, and her friends in Year 12 have spent the past few months preparing a concert, called “Monique’s Memory”, which was performed to a packed audience at the school on Thursday.
Mum Francesca Thompson said: “I am lost for words. It was beautiful. Monique was very arty and she would have loved it.
“As a mother, my life will never be the same again, but it was a great comfort to me.”
Girls read out moving poems and sang some of Monique’s favourite songs, including a Beyoncé hit.
Mrs Thompson was also shown a garden created at the school, which has a bench and a rose called “Monique”.
The teen passed away in her mother’s arms, just 13 days after being told the rare form of cancer had returned.
Monique, from Chatham, was diagnosed in May 2014, after suffering with headaches, tiredness and stomach pains.
She spent the next 10 months in and out of hospital having chemotherapy and in October last year she was given a bone marrow transplant, but died in February.
It was the second tragedy to strike the family after the murder of Monique’s older brother, Umar, in south London in 2012 in a case of mistaken identity.
When Monique was told she did not have long to live, she wrote a list of things she wanted to do.
It included a trip to Butlin’s with her friends, go-karting with her family, driving a car, having her first alcohol drink and getting a Labrador puppy.
Mrs Thompson is a keen fundraiser for charities supporting research into leukaemia.
Among the guests at the school’s tribute were Mrs Thompson’s parents Elena and Leo Garcia, and her son Amir, aged 21.