A 'touching tribute' to brave fighter

A GIFTED teenager who loved to read, play piano and practice taekwondo will have a garden created in his memory after his tragic death two years ago. Curtis Williams, of Amidas Gardens, Dagenham, was just 15 when he passed away from inoperable brain tumou

A GIFTED teenager who loved to read, play piano and practice taekwondo will have a garden created in his memory after his tragic death two years ago.

Curtis Williams, of Amidas Gardens, Dagenham, was just 15 when he passed away from inoperable brain tumours in April 2007.

Now his former school, The Royal Liberty in Romford, wants to create a beautiful outside space complete with a bandstand and picnic tables as a tribute to this brave young student.

His mum, Shelly Jones, 49, said: "The memorial garden was something that was suggested to us after Curtis's funeral. But it was a bit too soon for us to get involved in the plans.

"My partner Erroll and I had cared for Curtis 24/7, bathing him and taking him to the park in a wheelchair. Then all of a sudden it was over, and we had this huge void in our lives. But now we feel like we are ready to get involved with the project."

Curtis was diagnosed in 2005 after suffering a fit at home and was rushed to King George Hospital, Goodmayes. Doctors found two aneurysms on Curtis' brain, which later developed into tumours.

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A neurosurgeon told Erroll and Shelly Curtis might have lasted just weeks were it not for his positive attitude, but he survived for more than 18 months.

His dad, Erroll Williams, 51, said: "We told the doctors they had to stay positive around Curtis even if they feared the worst.

'Amazed'

"The University College Hospital staff were amazed by Curtis's attitude. Whenever there was bad news, like the radiation therapy wasn't shrinking the tumours, he would just say 'well, what's next?' "

Curtis received an award from his school for outstanding achievement against all the odds after he returned to lessons, while still receiving treatment.

He also won a Jack Petchey Award for outstanding achievement.

Shelly said: "Curtis was such a bright boy. He was an avid reader and was reading Agatha Christie by the age of six.

"The idea for the memorial garden came from the pupils at Royal Liberty, and to us it is the most touching tribute to the kind of person Curtis was.

"He was so unassuming. I think he would be surprised to see how much he meant to the other students."

Pupils have raised more than �5,000, and a fundraising day will be held at The Royal Liberty School, Upper Brentwood Road, Romford, on September 12.

To make a donation, contact Shelly by emailing shellyjones59@hotmail.co.uk or call the POST on 020 8477 3778.

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