Bereaved south Warwickshire mum recalls day Euros star Jude Belliingham visited her daughter - The Leamington Observer

Bereaved south Warwickshire mum recalls day Euros star Jude Belliingham visited her daughter

AS EUROS fever continues, a bereaved mum from Leamington recalls the day a star member of the England squad visited her ill daughter.

Sarah Pardo’s 18-year-old daughter Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020. She woke with a headache in May of that year, only for events to spiral. She was taken to hospital for a CT scan and a biopsy came back revealing Jessica had stage 4 cancer in the brain.

Over the next few days the family was told it was terminal.

But those who knew her made sure her last months were full of joy – and sport.

Jessica was passionate about playing and watching rugby, She was also a Birmingham City football fan and loved Jude Bellingham, who is currently playing up a storm for the England team in the Euros 2024. Four years ago, while Jessica was ill, her PE teacher organised for Jude to come to her house.

Sarah recalled: “BCFC had played against Fulham, it was an away game and BCFC lost. Jess was disappointed at them losing and we had to encourage her to keep her shirt on to as we knew Jude would be arriving at our house as he travelled back to the Midlands.

“Jude arrived with his Dad and came into the house, Jude and Jess discussed football and their love for the game. Jude signed a shirt for Jess, which is in her bedroom and we will forever treasure our memories of the day.”

To honour Jessica’s 21st birthday the family held a charitable family event at Old Leamingtonians RFC last September.

In her memory there was a line-up of rugby, street food, live music, DJs and a drag auction. There was also a raffle and an auction to raise cash for two local charities – Shine a Light support services and Evelyn’s Gift.

And the festival proved so popular it is set to become an annual event. This year it will be held on August 31 at Church Farm Brewery.

A charity has also been set up in Jessica’s name – Jessica’s Promise, which will encourage and offer support to youngsters wanting to take up a sport.

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