Dad of brave teenager who died from cancer describes void in his life after she wins Whittlesey award

Whittlesey Citizen of the Year presentations by Mayor Councillor David Mason. Pictured are  Averil Cosstick (Special Services to Whittlesey), Finley Coulson (Young Citizen of the Year) and Danny Corr and Jeannetta Lasala (Citizen of the Year Award to their daughter Shannon) EMN-150904-091359009
Whittlesey Citizen of the Year presentations by Mayor Councillor David Mason. Pictured are Averil Cosstick (Special Services to Whittlesey), Finley Coulson (Young Citizen of the Year) and Danny Corr and Jeannetta Lasala (Citizen of the Year Award to their daughter Shannon) EMN-150904-091359009
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The dad of a brave cancer victim has described the huge void in his life after his daughter was posthumously honoured at an awards ceremony.

Shannon Corr, who raised thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charities, lost her fight against bone cancer in August 2014 aged 19.

Shannon, from Glenfields, Whittlesey, was named Citizen of the Year at the Whittlesey Citizen of the Year awards on Wednesday, April 8.

Shannon’s parents Danny Corr and Jeannetta Lasala picked up the award from Mayor of Whittlesey Councillor David Mason at the ceremony in Grosvenor Road.

Promising dancer Shannon had her leg amputated aged 15 due to her condition. An appeal to raise £20,000 to pay for ongoing treatment and a prosthetic leg, which was supported by the Peterborough Telegraph, was soon met in around seven months’s time.

However, Shannon continued to fundraise and helped raise over £20,000 for charity, most notably to cure bone cancer, with events including a bike ride to London.

She had a hunger to make the best of her life. Cancer did not define her and she would not let it beat her down.

Danny Corr

Mr Corr (51) who now lives in Bretton, described the joy Shannon had brought into his life and her courage in the face of extreme adversity.

He said: “She was inspirational. A lot of the time she was doing the fundraising she was very ill but she always had a smile on her face.

“She was so determined and had a positive outlook on life. She knew she had terminal cancer but would not dwell on it. She was so happy.

“A week after she lost her leg it was my birthday party. She just bounded in on crutches and asked ‘where am I sitting’?

“She had a hunger to make the best of her life. Cancer did not define her and she would not let it beat her down.

“Even though I knew her passing away was coming it happened very quickly at the end. It was a combination of relief because she was in so much pain, but there’s such a huge void in my life.

“She had such a big personality and it’s still hard to believe she’s gone. I half expect to see her bounding up to the door to see me.

“The anniversaries such as Christmas and her birthday are the hardest time.”

Shannon was the first person to win the Citizen of the Year award posthumously.

She studied at Sir Harry Smith Community College and volunteered at Park Lane Primary School as a teaching assistant.

Describing how it felt to pick up the award on Shannon’s behalf, Mr Corr added: “It was very emotional, we were just so proud that Whittlesey honoured her for what she has done. And how she coped with her illness is an inspiration for a lot of people.

“She would be embarrassed at the award. She would say, ‘what have I done’?”

The Whittlesey Young Citizen of the Year award went to six-year-old Finley Coulson who has been instrumental in raising in excess of £4,250 for defibrillators after his godmother collapsed and died from a cardiac arrest in August 2013.

Finley has helped with selling raffle tickets and collecting money as well as delivering with his grandmother almost 600 leaflets in the Whittlesey area.

He has also set up rooms for bingo sessions, sold refreshments, taken entrance monies at events and put together bags of sweets and sold them on a stall.

The young citizen merit awards went to Lois Russell, who raised money for Cancer Research after a friend was diagnosed with the condition, and Darcie Tegerdine who raised more than £2,000 for Cancer Research and the Prince’s Trust after having her head shaved.

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Averil Cosstick who is involved in many community groups.

She is: president of the Nova Ladies Club, which raises money for good causes, a member of the Whittlesey branch of the Royal British Legion, a founder member of the New Queen Street Patient Participation Group and an assistant at Park Lane Primary School where she helps pupils with their reading and takes them to swimming lessons.

District Commander’s Commendation were also presented by Cllr Mason to police officers for detaining a violent male carrying a bladed weapon before any members of the public could be harmed.

During the ceremony, Sue Ryder, the Royal British Legion Whittlesey Veterans and Whittlesey Emergency Aid all received cheques of £1,000 from the Mayor’s Charity Fund.

More Shannon humbled by fund-raisers’ £25,000.