Family's tribute to Bristol teenager Saffron Pedroche who was told she had two weeks to live
A DEVASTATED family has paid tribute to a popular 17-year-old who died from a rare form of incurable cancer.
College student Saffron Pedroche fought bravely after being diagnosed with goblet cell carcinoid in September last year before succumbing to the condition last month.
She went to see doctors after a build-up of fluid in her leg in August. Tests showed that cancer had spread throughout her body.
She was told at the end of September she only just two weeks to live, but fought on until February.
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Up until her diagnosis, she had been a fit and healthy college student with a passion for dancing and an ambition to travel the world.
Her heartbroken mother Donna Sidoli said her youngest daughter had a smile on her face until the end despite being in pain.
She said: "She always cheered people up. In every photo she had a smile on her face and she even had a smile on her face when she died.
"She was always looking out for others and was always happy.
"I was chatting to her friends last night and they were saying that even if she wasn't feeling well, she was so brave. She took it all on her chin and never moaned."
Saffron's grandmother Lorraine Pedroche said: "She said she was more worried about her mum and dad.
"She said that cancer was only a word and that she would have it cut out, have chemo and put it down to experience."
About 300 people attended Saffron's funeral at Bristol South Crematorium last month, which was planned as a celebration of her life.
Ms Sidoli said: "She had three main friends and they all stood up and spoke at the funeral. It was more like a celebration than a funeral. There was rap music and Bob Marley music playing.
"We got professional graffiti artist Inkie to create a mural spelling the name Saff in her favourite colours."
The former Cotham School and Christchurch Primary School pupil had recently started a travel and tourism course at the City of Bristol College at College Green when she received her devastating news.
Her mum said: "She was a dancer and used to do break dancing, liked DJing and used to do a lot of rapping. She was a very spiritual person.
"She had a boyfriend called Dan Davidson who stuck by her all the way through.
"She was a very popular girl and no one had a bad word to say about her. Her Facebook page has hundreds and hundreds of messages on it.
"She wanted to travel and said she wanted to go to Thailand. She wanted to have a go at being a holiday rep or an air hostess."
The first sign that something was wrong was when Saffron noticed a build up of fluid on her leg in August.
Doctors did not find a tumour in her leg following scans but found that cancer had spread through her body's lymphatic system over the course of the last year.
Saffron, who spent her 17th birthday in hospital, was told at the end of September that the condition was incurable and that she had just two weeks to live.
She tried two bouts of chemotherapy over the course of six weeks at the Bristol Royal Infirmary to treat the condition, which is more common in older people, but they were unsuccessful.
Saffron had tubes sewn into her body to help drain fluid building up on her lungs and stomach.
She stayed in St Peter's Hospice in Brentry before returning to her home in Clifton, where she died with her mother, sister Jade Hackwell, 25, and her one-year-old nephew Danny at her bedside.
Fundraising at The Plough pub, which Ms Sidoli represents in netball, paid for Saffron and her friends to go on spa break in the Forest of Dean shortly before she passed away.
The pub in Easton did further fundraising at the weekend, raising £600 for the Teenage Cancer Trust in Saffron's memory.
Before her death, Saffron had requested that all her money be donated to the trust and a collection at her funeral raised a further £676 for the charity.
Ms Sidoli hopes to set up a charity in her daughter's memory to support parents who find themselves having to support a child with cancer.
She said: "I would like to help people who have gone through what I went through. It's something me and Saff talked about."
Saffron's dad Juan Pedroche has applied for permission to have a memorial bench for Saffron on Brandon Hill.
Ms Sidoli said: "We can see Brandon Hill from our home and we've looked out on it as she's grown up – she loved it there and met Dan there."