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Girlfriend skydiving in memory of her brave Matt
THE girlfriend of a teenager who died from leukaemia is jumping out of a plane in his memory.
Matt Sims was diagnosed with the disease in December 2010, and despite beating it, the intensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplant left him in hospital.
Matt, a pupil at Coggeshall’s Honywood Community Science School and a keen dance and drama student, finally succumbed to the disease last November.
Now his girlfriend, Rhiannon Griffiths, 17, is bracing herself to skydive from 10,000ft to raise cash for the Teenage Cancer Trust, one of the charities which supported Matt during his fight with cancer.
She said: “I’m quite nervous about the whole thing, but if he was brave enough to face his treatment, then I’m brave enough to jump out of a plane.
“Matt was very engaging and didn’t complain once, despite the amount of treatment he was going through. If he was having a really bad day he would not say anything.
“I was lucky to be his girlfriend as he was such a nice boy. Sadly, we didn’t make our two-year anniversary, and he was too ill during our first, but we did enjoy a nice meal out after 18 months of being together.
“It was such a shock when he was diagnosed because he had never had a day off or been to the doctors.”
Rhiannon, of Riverside Way, Kelvedon, is now studying at the Colchester Sixth Form College and recently achieved three As and two Bs at AS level.
Earlier this year school friends held a tribute show and raised more than £5,000 towards the Anthony Nolan Trust, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Clic Sargent.
Matt received a lot of treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at the University College London Hospital.
“Everyone was so supportive,” said Rhiannon.
“The ward was really good, with a room with games consoles for the patients. Matt used to organise pizza nights, and all the nurses used to join in the fun, too.
“He also met some celebrities, including Keith Lemon, Roger Daltrey and Pixie Lott.”
To sponsor Rhiannon, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ skydiveformattsims