In loving memory of Jessica Shepherd 07/10/2007 - 07/09/2018

Jessica was an inspirational, brave girl who passed away peacefully at the age of eight after a long battle with neuroblastoma.

Jessica’s story touched the hearts of many, far and wide, as her family regularly blogged about Jess’ daily life. Jess’ compassion for others astounded everyone, given all that she herself was going through.

Her family say:

“We are absolutely devastated, heartbroken doesn’t even cover it.”

Jessica's story

Jessica was initially diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2011 at the age of three. Fortunately, this was a low-risk tumour, which actually went into spontaneous remission.

For the next couple of years, Jessica continued her life as normal, largely unaffected by the earlier health scare. However, in late 2013 she began to complain that she felt unwell and scans revealed she had a lump on her neck. It was relapsed neuroblastoma.

Jessica’s nan Louise said at the time: “Whilst we were devastated, we knew we had to help Jess understand what was happening to her, so we named the tumour Boris - Boring Boris.”

By December 2014, Jessica’s family were told that there was no evidence of disease, with a good chance that ‘Boris’ was gone for good. However just two months later, Jessica had relapsed again.

During her treatment, Jessica endured surgery, high dose chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and 20 sessions of radiotherapy. But she relapsed for the third time.

Her family said that she inspired them throughout her fight, always smiling as she beat ‘Boris’ each time, showing unbelievable bravery.

Jessica’s family fundraised with Solving Kids' Cancer so she could access clinical trials abroad if necessary, in the hope of preventing her cancer from returning. That money will now be used to help other children and families affected by neuroblastoma, and they are keeping donations open in Jessica’s name.