Fighter Josie claimed af­ter cancer bat­tle

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Fiona Thomp­son fiona.thomp­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @fionath­omp­sonjp

A teenage boxer who helped other chil­dren be brave dur­ing their own fight against cancer has lost her life to the dis­ease.

Josie King, from Thor­ney Close, was first di­ag­nosed with bone cancer Ewing’s sar­coma in Au­gust 2016 af­ter the Sand­hill View stu­dent dis­cov­ered a lump on her hip.

The 15-year-old’s fam­ily say she was told she was in re­mis­sion in May last year fol­low­ing surgery and gru­elling chemo­ther­apy, but con­fided to her loved ones she still felt ill be­fore tests later con­firmed her fears.

She spent the last six weeks be­ing cared for by mum Donna Doneathy, 42, dad John King, 51, sis­ter Jess, 21, and brother Jack, 14, and died on Thurs­day.

Her pas­sion for boxing be­gan when she fol­lowed her brother into the sport, start­ing at the gym at Lambton Street Youth Cen­tre, on the Ford Es­tate, be­fore mov­ing to Houghton Boxing Club.

She ful­filled her dream of see­ing David Haye when he fought Tony Bellew at the 02 in Lon­don in May last year af­ter Jack gifted her a ticket he had won.

Josie also met heavy­weight world cham­pion An­thony Joshua and had been sup­ported by Sun­der­land Olympian fighter Josh Kelly, who gifted her a vest he wore dur­ing the 2016 Rio games.

Her fight­ing spirit had seen her bat­tle hard dur­ing her own treat­ment and give oth­ers on the ward nonon­sense ad­vice.

Josie was one of 11 to be pre­sented with a Bradley Low­ery Child of Courage award – named in hon­our of her friend – at this year’s Best of Wearside cel­e­bra­tion run by the Echo.

She was also nom­i­nated for a Brave­hearts of the North East award for her car­ing na­ture and had writ­ten blogs about her ex­pe­ri­ences.

Donna said: “She was still help­ing oth­ers even though she was very poorly.

“She went into one lit­tle boy’s room when he wouldn’t have his chemo and told him ‘If you don’t want to die, you have to fight it, not the nurses’ and Josie was so straight with peo­ple and strong, even though she was 15 years old.

“She was funny, the most funny per­son I’ve ever known in my life.

“Josie loved make-up and an­i­mals. But she will want to be re­mem­bered through boxing most of all. “She loved it.” A bal­loon re­lease was held on land off North Moor Lane by her friends and fam­ily last night.

Ev­ery­one at­tend­ing Josie’s fu­neral on Fri­day at 10.45am at St Mary and St Peter’s Church, in Spring­well Road, has been asked to wear bright cloth­ing.

It will be fol­lowed by a ser­vice at Sun­der­land Cre­ma­to­rium at 11.30am, with do­na­tions go to CLIC Sar­gent.

Josie with her Best of Wearside award, and, right, with Josh Kelly and An­thony Joshua.

Josie in boxing gear, un­der­go­ing treat­ment, and with sis­ter Jes­sica King and mother Donna Doneathy in 2016.

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