Brave and inspirational Sophie Claydon, 25, from Bury St Edmunds loses her battle with cancer

Sophie as bridesmaid for the wedding of her brother Russell Claydon and sister-in-law Mariam Claydon

Sophie as bridesmaid for the wedding of her brother Russell Claydon and sister-in-law Mariam Claydon (nee Ghaemi) in 2012. Picture: DAVID PAUL PHOTOGRAPHY. - Credit: David Paul Photography

Tributes have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ young woman whose bravery and selfless nature shone strongly throughout her battle with cancer.

Sophie Claydon and her boyfriend Peter Hart. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Sophie Claydon and her boyfriend Peter Hart. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Contributed

Sophie Claydon, 25, of Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, passed away at St Nicholas Hospice in the town on Monday, August 21, surrounded by her family, after being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in December of last year.

A series of fundraising events by family and friends for the former Thurston Community College pupil has raised nearly £17,000 for a number of charities that have helped her during the last eight months.

A flood of tributes poured onto social networking site Facebook following the announcement by her Thurston-based parents, which read: “Our beautiful, brave daughter Sophie Claydon lost her fight against cancer yesterday.

“She was an inspiration to us all and fought to the very end with dignity, even hanging on to her lovely sense of humour in spite of everything.

Sophie's Little Runners team after completing Race for Life in Bury St Edmunds this summer (2017). P

Sophie's Little Runners team after completing Race for Life in Bury St Edmunds this summer (2017). Pictured are Sophie Claydon (centre), with cousin Melissa Claydon, her children Daisy, Barney and Lucie-Rose, cousin Anita and her daughter Autumn. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Contributed

“Our hearts are breaking and life will never be the same again.”

Her brother Russell Claydon said: “Sophie loved life and was known for having a big smile on her face.

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“She was such a selfless person who touched people’s hearts, even in her darkest days.

“It said everything to me that her two home carers became two of her best friends and are as devastated as the rest of us that we must now go on without her in our lives.”

Sophie pictured on holiday in Kefalonia last summer. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Sophie pictured on holiday in Kefalonia last summer. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Contributed

Sophie was an HR Assistant at St Edmundsbury Borough Council who had only started a university course in Ipswich in September.

She was someone who loved family life, having become an adoring aunt to Oscar and Layla.

Natasha Tanswell (nee Barnes-Smith), co-organised the ‘Sing For Sophs’ concert with Victoria Beswick at her former school in June, which raised £5,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.

She wrote: “Super Sophs — the brightest, bravest star in the sky, who had a wicked sense of humour and an infectious smile, even through the toughest of times.

Sophie Claydon with the 'Cycling for Sophie' team who took part in the 150-mile Ipswich Town Tour of

Sophie Claydon with the 'Cycling for Sophie' team who took part in the 150-mile Ipswich Town Tour of Suffolk ride in May. Left to right: James King, Russell Claydon (Sophie's brother), Sophie Claydon, Peter Hart (Sophie's boyfriend) and James Mould. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Contributed

“A beautiful angel taken far too soon who will continue to inspire and encourage everyone who ever had the honour of meeting her.”

Felicity Deuchars, a close friend, wrote: “Sophie Claydon you were such a fighter and so brave. You have such a huge place in my heart.

“We will all keep on living for you; you absolutely beautiful lady.

“Thank you for making my life have more meaning and teaching me to find the beauty in every day. I will forever miss you.”

Sophie’s mother Teresa, who worked with her at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We are so proud of how she fought right until the end and was so committed to helping to raise so much money to help others.”

Teresa will be taking part in the Girls Night Out 11-mile walk, which Sophie used to do with her, for St Nicholas Hospice Care, leading the St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Night Owls team a week tomorrow.

People can donate to her fundraising page here.

Sophie’s funeral will take place at West Suffolk Crematorium on Tuesday, September 5, at 1pm with a celebration of her life to follow at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club from 2pm.

Sophie had requested for people to wear something bright and, instead of flowers, the family have requested any donations to be made to St Nicholas Hospice Care which, if not done on the day, can be made through a tribute website via Armstrongs Funeral Service. See here for the website.

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