A 14-year-old boy has raised £780 in a week in memory of his best friend’s sister.
Katy Short died on May 2 aged 16 after a long battle with Cystic Fibrosis.
Alex Cunningham raised the money from a sponsored seven-mile run which he organised himself and completed with 16 of his friends from Roding Valley School.
He is good friends with Katy’s brother, Craig, and wanted to do something nice for the family.
Alex said: “Craig’s family are like family to me so I felt that I should do something in memory of Katy.
“A lot of people wanted to help out and we got a lot of support from Craig’s friends.
“I was really happy to have raised that much in a week.”
Katy’s mother Allison said: “It’s amazing to think other teenage boys are doing this.
“Craig’s mates have kept him going.
“From the day they found out they have been very supportive.”
Alex’s mother, Lorraine, said: “I was absolutely astonished by it.
“You don’t expect it from a group of teenage boys but they all pulled together as mates for Craig.”
Katy was a keen Girl Guide and was awarded the Baden Powell award for bravery in adversity by the organisation.
She also received the Loughton Town Council Young Citizenship award.
Mrs Short added: “Katy was inspirational and brave and got on with life despite living with Cystic Fibrosis.
“She tried to live as normal a life as possible.”
The money raised will go to the Ray of Sunshine, a charity which grants wishes for children with serious illness and which arranged for Katy to meet JLS in 2011.
Mrs Short added: “It was one of the happiest days of her life.
“It would be great if we can give that chance to another child.”