Two friends are taking on the London Marathon in memory of a “bubbly” 21-year-old who tragically died from a rare form of cancer.

Jenna Patel, from Belmont, was known for her happy-go-lucky personality, and even after her cancer diagnosis, she was more concerned about how her family would cope than herself.

Jenna sadly died from Ewing Sarcoma on May 13 2021.

Before she was diagnosed , she was in her last year at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, training to be a primary school teacher.

Hollie Owen met Jenna at Turton High School through a mutual friend, and they became close in Year 10 and 11, before they went to the school’s sixth form together.

She said: “She passed away a few months after her 21st birthday.

The Bolton News: Year 11 prom: Hollie in the grey and Jenna in the pinkYear 11 prom: Hollie in the grey and Jenna in the pink (Image: Public)Read our top stories below:

“She was always really happy, and smiling, and I remember thinking ‘how can someone so well, so young, and happy not be here anymore’.

“I always wanted to do a marathon but didn’t find the right time, and I was trying to think of a way of giving back anyway, and what better reason than for Jen.

“I hope this will help fund research and find a solution for the cancer that Jen had.

The Bolton News: Jenna with her brother LiamJenna with her brother Liam “Jen could still be here if they had more funding and research, or could have lived longer.”

School friend Sam Corson will also take on the marathon for Bone Cancer Research Trust, and has previously taken on a marathon in her memory.

Mum Priti Patel says she misses Jenna’s energy and hearing her laugh, and she has continued to try and keep Jenna’s memory alive through various fundraising events.

Since Jenna died, family and friends have managed to raise £30,500 to go to various cancer charities.

The Bolton News: Hollie (bottom right) and Jenna at the back on the left, celebrating a friends birthdaysHollie (bottom right) and Jenna at the back on the left, celebrating a friends birthdays (Image: Public)Priti said: “She loved life.

“When she said she wanted to be a teacher we thought it was perfect because she had the vibrant energy and would have brought so much happiness to every child.

“We couldn’t have got through what we had without the support of friends and family.”

Some of Jenna’s friends who moved abroad to teach have taken a bear known as ‘Jen The Bear’, which children look after each week and come up with stories about Jenna.

Ewing Sarcoma is mostly found in children and young adults, although it can happen at any age.

And Priti says that she wants as many people as possible to be aware of it, especially young people.

The Bolton News: Jenna with her brother and mum and dadJenna with her brother and mum and dad She added: “We don’t want anyone else to go through what we have been through.

“We are going to keep on going and keep on spreading awareness.

“We will never give up because there are so many people who we have spoken to since who have been sent away and told they did not have cancer but turned out to have it.

“We knew nothing about Sarcoma cancer until Jen was diagnosed.”

Priti has urged anyone to get a check-up if they have any symptoms such as, swelling and/or redness around an area where there normally is and there is no reason for it, or unexplained weight loss, and a decreased appetite.

Before Jenna’s diagnosis, Priti says that Jenna had a lump that they thought was an insect bite or a cyst.

Priti added: “We never once thought it was going to be cancer.

The Bolton News: “That’s why we want to raise awareness, if we can save one person then that is more than enough.”

Priti says that Jenna’s friends have continued to keep in touch and have come up with their own ways to raise money and remember Jenna.

Priti added: “The fact that they are doing this for Jenna is amazing, because they were just friends.

“It is for a good cause and helps us remember Jen.

"Even though I have lots one daughter, I feel like I have gained some through her friends."

Click here ( to help Hollie raise money for Sarcoma UK.

You can also help Sam raise money here (

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