The life of an 18-year-old who inspired others by ‘fearlessly’ fighting cancer has been celebrated.
Around 300 family and friends - dressed in bright colours and hats - overflowed from St John the Baptist C of E Church, in Crawley town centre, on Friday (April 26) to bid farewell to Georgina Woodley, known as Gee Gee.
Gee’s best friend Nyasha Masango began her tribute by saying that no words could describe how strong Gee was.
She said: “I know if she saw me now she would say, ‘Man up Nash’, she was all about manning up.
“I don’t want to think of Gee’s passing as a loss. Her courage should inspire us to be able to fight obstacles in our lives and inspire us to be happy.
“I hope her fearlessness will help us. Though her body was perishing, her heart, her mind and her personality stayed the same, so she won her battle.”
Gee was diagnosed with the rare cancer rhabdomyosarcoma in March 2012.
She underwent seven months of chemotherapy, 16 operations and six weeks of intensive daily radiotherapy, only to discover the cancer could not be removed in January this year.
Before Gee died, on April 17, she told her mother Carol that she saw death as a rebirth into the next stage in life .
The church was filled with balloons and everyone cheered when the brightly coloured coffin was carried out.
Guests were given a pouch with a small lock of Gee’s hair and a note asking them to take her with them on their travels.
Gee’s auntie Clair Boughton read Carol’s tribute .
She described how Gee always said she and her boyfriend of three years, Timi Otto, would travel the world and adopt babies along the way, ‘just like Brad and Angelina’.
She said: “Timi was the love of her life. I can’t thank you enough for holding her hand and her heart right up until the end. You were her soul mate.”
She went on to describe how ‘in awe’ of her big sister Cara, 20, she was and said that her little brother Callum, seven, was her best friend.
She added: “It’s been a privilege and a honour to call you my daughter.”
In Clair’s tribute she recalled her fondest memories of her ‘extraordinary’ niece.
A tribute from Gee’s father Richard said she had managed to do in a short time what others spend their whole lives trying to achieve.
Gee’s grandfather Michael Bowers said after the celebrations: “It was deeply moving for all our family to witness just how much she meant to all those young people and also how much her courage had inspired them.”
To donate towards setting up a healing centre in Gee’s honour visit www.gofundme.com/Gee-Gee-Fund