Tributes have flooded in to a “bubbly, positive and cheerful” 22-year-old who died from an aggressive form of cancer.
Demi Wright, a former Alderman Blaxill pupil, started suffering pains in her side in November last year, but did not know she had terminal adenocarcinoma, which had spread around her body.
The talented make-up artist, who was a treasured member of staff at Lancome in Williams and Griffin, was admitted to a maternity ward after the undiscovered tumour started emitting hormones similar to those in pregnancy.
But after doctors found a 12cm growth, Demi was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and her health quickly deteriorated.
After just over three weeks at Addenbrooke’s, Demi died on February 23, surrounded by her family.
Mum Roz and dad Chris, a Captain based at Merville Barracks, said the family had been overwhelmed with more than 140 messages of condolence.
Chris said: “She didn’t have a bad bone in her body. She had an infectious, beautiful smile and it showed her personality off.
“It’s been devastating.
“When we found out it was terminal, she lifted herself up, she patted the bed and said, ‘dad, come and sit here’.
“She gave me a big hug and said, ‘it’s going to be okay’.
“The next day, she passed away.”
Demi, who loved to sing and dance, was born at Essex County Hospital in 1993 and went from St Michael’s Primary School in Camulodunum Way to Alderman Blaxill, before studying performing arts at Colchester Institute.
She made friends while working at several jobs in Colchester, including at the Art Cafe, Loofers cafe and at Debenhams, and also spent five months in Zante working as a promoter in 2012.
Demi, of Arnstones Close in Colchester, had one sister, Holly Sanders, 26, a brother, Wesley, 28, who is also in the army, and boyfriend, Mitch Gregory.
Mitch said: “We feel robbed.
“It needs to be stressed how much courage she had. She’s our inspiration now.”
A spokesman for Williams and Griffin said: “Demi was a much-loved and well-respected member of the store team and will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts are with her friends and family.”
Nova Hughes, Demi’s tutor at Colchester Institute, said: “Demi was a great actress with a beautiful singing voice and was a pleasant and popular student here.
“She was hard working and obviously had a real passion for the performing arts.
“Demi performed in the college production of Spring Awakening in 2011.
“We are all so terribly sorry to hear this news, and our thoughts are very much with Demi’s family and friends.”
Demi’s funeral yesterday, Monday at Colchester Crematorium Chapel in Mersea Road, where guests are invited to wear something yellow.
The service was followed by a celebration of Demi’s life at the TA Centre in Circular Road East.
Members of Demi’s family have already raised £1,700 in her memory and will run the Race For Life in Castle Park on July 10.