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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Hundreds pack church for funeral of Cumbrian teenager

Dressed in purple to celebrate her life, friends and family of 15-year-old Danica Maxwell gathered for her funeral yesterday.

Danica Maxwell funeral photo
Danica’s boyfriend Will Houghton, right, carries the coffin

The brave Egremont teenager, who had battled brain tumours for 12 months, died on December 22.

Hundreds packed into the town’s parish church, St Mary and St Michael’s, to hear moving tributes to a beautiful and much-loved young woman.

Reverend Richard Lee, rector of the parish church, spoke of Danica’s death as a “crushing loss’’ and urged those who had offered their support to her parents John and Allison and brother Devon to continue to show their love.

There were moving tributes from her nurse, Viv Alison, and Janet Wadsworth, a former teacher of Danica’s. Another member of her community nursing team, Maria Morton, also sang in Danica’s memory.

In a colourful Order of Service, decorated with ballerina shoes, her family had chosen photographs which represented Danica’s life and loves. She adored music and dance and the service reflected her passion with the hymn Lord of the Dance and one of her favourite songs, I Swear, by the group All For One.

As her coffin left the church, a recording of Danica’s voice singing as a child could be heard.

The service was followed by cremation at Distington Hall. An open invitation was made to all those who had attended the church service to attend a celebratory event held at The Falcon Club in Egremont.

Danica was diagnosed with brain tumours at the beginning of 2010, and had undergone months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In November, she dressed in period costume, which she loved, and was treated to a special photo shoot at Moresby Hall. She was also introduced to her favourite band The Wanted and chatted to them

In the Order of Service, Danica’s boyfriend, Will Houghton, who helped carry her coffin, wrote: “You kept me going when I saw no hope. Your smile so beautiful, like a warm embrace. Your eyes so pretty, happy and kind. You inspired me to live my life. I miss you Gorgeous and you will never be forgotten.’’

Reporters attended the funeral with the permission of Danica’s family.

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