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Tributes paid to extraordinary teenager

A FAMILY friend of local 16 year-old Lucia Robinson has spoken of the legacy left by the teenager since she died of cancer earlier this month.

A funeral was held for Lucia at Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday 9th June, where friends and family decorated the church with the colour blue in her memory.

Family friend Anna Mercer said, “The church was packed with friends and family all wearing blue or bright colours – Lucia had requested no black clothing – and many wore ‘Go Blue For Lucia’ t-shirts.

“Lucia’s light touched many lives. There were around 220-250 there and some people waited outside. A coach full came from Writhlington School alone, where Lucia was a student. It was extremely emotional. Her parents Melina and Paul both spoke, as did three of her school friends Kim, Reg and Katie, and a friend from church, Bryce.

“Lucia had requested that as many people as possible sign her casket or make their mark so they would go with her on her final journey on Earth. Her coffin was covered with hand and thumb prints and lots of beautiful messages and inscriptions.

“The service at Holy Trinity was followed by a private cremation at Semington, and then Lucia’s family returned to Holy Trinity to spend some time with the friends and family who had come to the service.”

Lucia, 16, died recently of cancer in her spinal cord. During her illness she became well-known in the area for her fundraising efforts and selfless acts.

On learning of her passing earlier this month, Anna wrote of Lucia’s extraordinary final year: “It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Lucia Robinson, who was just 16 years of age. Lucia had been suffering from astrocytoma, an aggressive form of cancer, in her spinal cord.

“She was first diagnosed over a year ago, and had undergone operations and endured many intensive chemo and radiotherapy courses to try to combat the disease, but when it recurred in April doctors told her family that it was too widespread to make operating feasible, and Lucia retired with her family to Charlton Farm to spend their last weeks together in tranquility.

“Lucia never let her illness take over her life. She almost immediately decided that she would make something good out of her suffering, and set up the organisation ‘Go Blue For Lucia’.

“Lucia realised that people wanted to do something in her name to help children with cancer. She suggested people wear blue clothes, dye their hair blue, paint fingernails blue. Together, we sold blue wristbands and had a 5K run where everyone wore blue.

“Lucia bought fans to cool the children on the ward during the hot summer months, and Christmas presents for all the children on the ward, during a brief respite in her illness. We have several times stocked the parents’ coffee room with food and drinks and emergency washbags, and given financial donations to Teenage Cancer Trust, CLIC Sargent and Rainbow Trust, all at Lucia’s request.

“The total of funds she has raised for these causes and also Time is Precious and Children’s Hospice South West now nears £7,000.

“Lucia really was an extraordinary young woman. She fought quietly but unwaveringly against her illness, never giving up hope, but never submitting to anger. Her dignity in the face of this unexpected, unfair blow has been an example to everyone, showing a courage and faith beyond her years.

“Already, the outpouring of emotion at her passing has surprised and at times overwhelmed her family.”