A teenager who survived the Manchester Arena bombings only to die of cancer will be at her family's dinner table this Christmas in cutout form. Jodie Williams was walking into the foyer of the famous music venue when the deadly explosion went off nearby, killing 22 people.
While she witnessed "so much stuff that nobody should ever have to see in their life", Jodie was thankfully unharmed.
Two years on the then 19-year-old was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which claimed her life in June this year.
To mark the first Christmas they will spent without her, Jodie's family had a life-size print of her cut out so she can join them around the dinner table.
"It’s not how other families might do it and it might freak some people out, but Jodie would have loved it," her mum June told The Sun Online.
Jodie's mum June said she would have enjoyed being made into a cut out Read More Related Articles Hoax caller dials 999 to complain 'my a** is on fire' after eating chicken korma Read More Related Articles Dad's poignant promise to beautiful wife who died a week after catching flu "We joke that she’s never going to age in the photos over the years but that we will – she would enjoy that as she had a dark sense of humour.”
Jodie was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma just before Christmas 2017.
The rare and aggressive form of cancer proved to be terminal.
Jodie organised a farewell party to say goodbye to her friends only to die after returning to the hospice after the celebration.
A month before she died Jodie wrote about her experience at the Ariana Grande concert that swiftly turned into a terrifying ordeal.
"After she finished, I made my way out to wait for my cousin," she recalled.
"I was just about to walk into the foyer when suddenly there was a loud bang, like nothing I’d ever heard before.
"It shook the entire building.
Armed police close to the Manchester Arena after a terrorist attack (Image: PA) "Smoke started to come from the foyer and people were running away screaming. I knew it was some kind of bomb."
The attack had a deep emotional impact on Jodie.
She said: "It was all too much for me, and I found the next few days, weeks and months very tough.
"I felt anxious and traumatised by what I had seen, and I didn’t want to go anywhere with large crowds or go out on my own.
"If I heard any loud bang, I’d find myself shaking or bursting into tears."
Jodie underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy before the diagnosis changed to terminal Things had slowly started to get better when she started getting pain in her arms, shoulders and back.
She went for blood tests and was admitted to hospital, where her fear of crowds made sleeping on a ward a terrifying experience.
"Eventually, after many scans and a biopsy, the doctor told me I had a rare form of cancer – Ewing’s sarcoma," Jodie continued.
"I tried to think he might be wrong, but mum was really upset and seeing her crying hit me hard.
"All I could think was, ‘Am I going to die?’"
Jodie had 14 rounds of intensive chemotherapy over a 12 month period.
Despite months of treatment, in May this year a scan showed that it had had little positive impact.
Determined she would enjoy the little time she had left, Jodie's family went on holiday together and took her to see Olly Murs in concert.
Jodie's family have decided to memorialise her following her death earlier this year More than 150 people came to her farewell party, which caused Jodie's face to "light up" when she walked into the room.
She left at 12.30am and died minutes after getting back to her hospice.
Speaking of the party, June said: "That’s how she wanted people to remember her, she didn’t want their last memories of her to be them holding hands around her bed and crying."
Read More Top news stories from Mirror Online Father Christmas sleigh tracker live Gran makes £120 charging family for xmas Philip to spend Christmas with Queen Mum bags entire food shop for £3 The idea to get a cutout of Jodie came from an earlier request of hers to be gifted a life sized James Corden.
When the photo version of Jodie first arrived her family members took photos with it.
Now it serves as a kind of monument to Jodie and a way for her to be with the family this Christmas.